In apparent effort to boost the morale of officers of the Nigerian Police Force, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to review upwardly the salaries and benefits of police personnel.
The President spoke Thursday in Lagos while handing over security equipment procured by Lagos State Government for the use of the state police command, during his one-day official visit to the state.
He declared that no Federal government since 1999 had been as committed as his administration in reforming and repositioning the Nigeria Police Force and national policing architecture.
‘‘In 2019, I signed into law the Act establishing the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, the first in the history of the Force, to provide guaranteed funding to support Police welfare, logistics and equipment.
‘‘In September 2020, I assented to the Bill amending the Nigeria Police Act, which was originally enacted in 1943.
‘‘This new Act, a vast improvement over the old one, among other things spells out the modalities for the implementation of a National Community Policing Scheme in Nigeria.
‘‘This new scheme will build confidence within our local communities and make them active stakeholders in the safety and security of their environs.
‘‘We are currently recruiting 10,000 new Police officers to reinforce our personnel capacity across the country. In addition to this, I have directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to carry out an upward review of Police salaries and benefits,’’ he said.
President Buhari reiterated that his directive to security agencies, to shoot any person or persons found illegally wielding AK-47s and other assault weapons, remains in place.
He also vowed that his administration will act firmly and decisively against any and all persons fomenting or carrying out attacks against the police and other security personnel.
According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president warned that a nation that turned its police personnel and infrastructure into targets of violence and destruction is a nation on the path of self-destruction.
“As Commander-in-Chief, my primary responsibility remains the security of the country and the safety of all citizens. Despite the many challenges we are facing, I want Nigerians to rest assured that we will secure this country.
“We will secure our infrastructure, our highways, our communities, and our forests, and we will secure the lives of our people,” he said.
The President reminded members of the Nigeria Police that as the government strove to improve their welfare and capacity, the citizens equally had expectations from them.
“First let me commend the Inspector-General of Police and the entire Force for the recent efforts to restore peace to troubled parts of the country.
“I have charged the Inspector-General to leave no stone unturned in rebuilding the morale of his officers and men, especially in the aftermath of the mindless violence associated with the EndSARS protests, as well as the recent spate of attacks on Police Stations in some parts of the country,” he said.
Commending the Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the newly-acquired security equipment and assets, the President noted that it would go a long way in boosting the morale of the Police, and further enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.
“This is even more touching in the light of the unwarranted violence that ensued in the wake of the ENDSARS protests last October, which saw the security architecture in Lagos State being severely damaged,” he said.
The President added that it was commendable that Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence, has shown a truly resilient spirit, in the face of the massive destruction it suffered last October.
“You did not allow yourselves to be deterred by the severe setback; instead, you have bounced back and are now boldly rebuilding the confidence of residents and investors in the State.
“I acknowledge the initiative taken to kick-start the rebuilding process, through the establishment of the Lagos State Rebuild Trust Fund, and through this very laudable effort by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. I enjoin other State Governments to emulate your bold, proactive and resourceful initiative,” he said.