President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that he was committed to reforming Nigeria Police Force, and other security agencies and that he was focused on bequeathing a citizens-led policing system to the nation, declaring that his administration has demonstrated firm commitment towards changing the principle and strategy of policing in Nigeria.
He added that his commitment to achieving a citizens-led policing system informed the approval for the adoption of Community Policing as Internal Security Strategy of the country, as well as the approval of funds to support the implementation process.
Buhari while addressing passing out parade of 418 officers of the 3rd Regular Cadet Course at the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil-Kano, further explained his directive to the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on the upward review of police emoluments.
The president who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, said that the revised salaries and allowances for the police would commensurate with the vital functions they are performing as the lead agency in internal security assets.
The president noted that the police reform initiative, embarked upon by his administration, had focused on improving the welfare of the force, recruitment of 10,000 junior police officers annually, investing in the upgrade of facilities at the Nigeria Police Academy and other police training institutions in the country, among others.
According to him, as part of our police reform initiatives, the Police Public Complaint Committee, which is domiciled in the Ministry of Police Affairs has been resuscitated with the mandate to receive complaints from the general public on cases of abuse and maltreatment by Police Officers.
”A Public-Private Partnership arrangement undertaken by the Ministry of Police Affairs to rejuvenate the National Public Security Communication System Network has been approved by the Federal Executive Council. This is with a view to ensuring that when fully reactivated the Police and other Security Agencies will be able to fully utilize this vital facility,” he said.
The president’s address at the occasion highlighted ”well thought-out reform programmes” by his administration to modernise and reposition the Nigeria Police to meet the aspirations of the citizens, as well as to manage current and evolving threats in the most efficient and professional manner.
The president further charged the young officers that the task of advancing major police responsibilities would in due course fall on their shoulders, saying:
”The Federal Government and the citizens of this nation demand of you the assurances that in this task of national service, you shall not let yourselves, families, the Nigeria Police Force and the nation down.”
The president also urged the newly commissioned 418 Cadet Officers, who are now Assistant Superintendents of Police, to be guided by the fact that their conduct on the field will be constantly scrutinized and they would be held personally accountable for their actions.
”You should remain good ambassadors of the Nigeria Police and demonstrate respect to civil society in discharging your duties, while also maintaining zero tolerance for corruption. To the Commandant and other staff of the Academy, I commend you for your dedication to duty which has ensured the proper indoctrination of these young officers as well as occasioned today’s successful Passing Out Parade. I assure you of the continuous support of this administration for the Academy towards attaining the object of its establishment.
”In this regard, the Minister of Police Affairs is directed to liaise with the Inspector General of Police and the Commandant of the Academy in identifying critical challenges of the Police Academy and submit a comprehensive proposal that will aid the Federal Government in addressing them,” he said.
In his remarks, the Commandant of the Academy, Lawal Jimeta, said that the passing out ceremony was the third edition since the scademy was upgraded into a university, adding that no fewer than 1000 well-trained officers have graduated from the institution.
Thanking the President for the unflinching support to the academy, the Police Commissioner said that within two years, 15-degree programmes have been successfully accredited by the National Universities Commission.
”We have also taken possession of five iconic projects executed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, including a modern postgraduate hostel, an auditorium, a forensic laboratory, an indoor shooting range and a fully equipped state-of-the-art ICT complex,” he said, among other achievements of the academy.