Reps urge mass recruitment into Nigeria Police, better welfare for personnel
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to carry out a massive recruitment of more Nigerians into the police force to mitigate the effects of dwindling manpower.
Also, yesterday, the lawmakers summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefele, before it to explain the apex bank’s ban on foreign currencies deposit into domiciliary accounts.
The Lower Chamber called for recruitment of more policemen following a motion by Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia), titled “Urgent Need to Recruit More Police Officers/Men in the Country, Improve Police Welfare and Capacity to Close the Wide Gap of Policing in the Country.”
They also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to probe what they described as the N5 billion police recruitment fund appropriated for by the Aminu Waziri Tambuwal-led 7th Assembly.
Leading debate on the motion which also urged the Police Service Commission (PSC) to accede to the call for recruitment of more police personnel as well as enhance the capacity of policemen in the country by ensuring that adequate welfare packages are provided for the officers, Nkem-Abonta stated that the role of the Nigerian Police as the principal law enforcement agency in Nigeria is enforced by statutory provisions, including the Nigerian Police Act.
He noted that the 370,000 policemen for 170million Nigerians, according to former Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, as against the United Nations recommendation of 222 police officers/men per 100,000 citizens, is grossly inadequate for the country. “Upon a visit to the Police Service Commission on Monday, 11th May 2015, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, called on the commission to recruit more people into the Nigeria Police, stating that the force is under-staffed,” he said.
The lawmaker expressed regret that, according to the IGP, about 20 to 30 policemen die on monthly basis with no provision made to replace them. “In spite of the inadequacy of policemen/officers, poor welfare, including salaries and financial inducements, capacity building and accommodation do not encourage their optimal performance.
They constitute the reason for a purported strike by policemen in February this year,” he said. Contributing to the debate, Linda Ikpeazu (PDP, Anambra) called for better welfare for the police to enable the personnel carry out their assigned duties efficiently.
Jones Onyeriri (PDP, Imo) argued that it is the primary responsibility of government to ensure adequate security of the citizenry, including the police officers.
Osai Nicolas Osai (PDP, Delta) said the 7th Assembly had voted N5billion for police recruitment and wondered why there is still inadequate manpower in the force.
Nasir Ali Ahmed (APC, Kano) stated that no matter how many people you recruit into the police, they won’t perform magic if the men are ill-equipped.
Aminu Shehu Shagari urged the govt to saddle the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps with the task of protecting the civil populace while maintenance of law and order should be left for the police.
The CBN governor was summoned following resolution on a motion of urgent public importance brought by Emmanuel Ekom (PDP, Akwa Ibom) on the need to address the House on the “Policy on Rejection of Foreign Currency Deposits by Commercial Banks in Nigeria.”
Though the motion was challenged via a point of order raised by Obinna Chidoka (PDP, Anambra), who said it was unnecessary, as the Senate had already summoned Emefiele on the state of the economy, Speaker Yakubu Dogara backed the need for an interface with the apex bank’s authorities for the purpose of educating Nigerians.
According to him, it was different from the last motion in the Senate, and “as we speak, there is serious confusion out there. The reason for allowing the presentation of this motion is that we all have to be sensitised on what the CBN is doing.”
The House also yesterday passed a resolution urging the authorities to reconstruct the Kabba -Obajana road in Kogi State. At the plenary session, the lawmakers called for the rehabilitation of the Apapa port road in Lagos State.
The resolutions followed the adoption of motions sponsored by Tajudeen Yusuf (APC, Kogi) and Joseph Ayodeji (APC, Lagos) respectively. Yusuf, while moving the motion expressed concern over the deplorable state of the Kabba -Obajana road which links the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to Kogi, Kwara, Ekiti and other states in the South West zone.
He further claimed that motorists now suffer unnecessary delays, leaving them with the option of taking the Lokoja-Okene axis road due to the poor condition of the road.
The House thereby urged the Federal Ministry of Works or the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to undertake immediate reconstruction of the Odabudabu bridge at Okebukun as well as beef up security along the Obajana-Kabba road to protect lives and properties of travelers and the affected communities along the route of the road.
On the Apapa port road, the lawmakers resolved to constitute an ad-hoc committee to determine why the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) failed to ensure that the condition for the grant of licences, which included locating tank farms outside the metropolis was kept.
Urging the Federal Ministry of Works to rehabilitate the road and ultimately construct a dedicated bridge for cars and buses only with the aim of restricting trucks and trailers to a dedicated lane to reduce traffic congestion, the lawmakers urged the Federal Ministry of Transport to make the construction of cargo rails an immediate priority in order to drastically reduce the use of trailers in the haulage of goods.
Prior to the adoption of the motion, Joseph said the deplorable nature of the port road is worsening the already chaotic traffic situation in the Apapa area, resulting into loss of productive time by people who get stuck in the traffic gridlock.