Experts Seek Better Funding Of The Police Force
But for the Police Force that is low in number, short of funding and has been for a long time under equipped and under developed, expecting it to effectively respond to all the current security challenges facing the nation, will be more than a tall order. In this special report, AIT's Ada Ononye examines how effective funding of the Nigeria Police can improve its performance. By current estimates, Nigeria has a population of about 180 million.
If the United Nations standard ratio of one Policeman to 400 is to be the benchmark, Nigeria should have a Police of 2 million personnel. Today, however, Nigeria has just about 360,000 Policemen, making the nation under-policed. Apart from the consequence of the inadequate number of Policemen, the advent of the military in 1966 ushered in a long period of the underdevelopment of the Police Force.
As the country's first line of security, the Police was neglected in terms of equipment, logistics advanced technology and necessary funds needed to make it an effective and dependable security out-fit. The under-funding of the Nigeria Police, apart from making it difficult for the Force to purchase operational equipment, conduct investigations and carry out needed scientific and forensic examination of sophisticated cases, it has also led to poor remuneration for personnel of the Force. The welfare of officers and men of the Force has also suffered leading to low morale.
At present, Nigeria is confronted by many security challenges which require professional, committed and timely response by a well-trained and well equipped Police Force. Unfortunately, the Nigeria Police is only struggling to meet the expectations of Nigerians in comprehensive response to these challenges. If much is expected from those to whom much has been given, what is expected from a Police Force that is under-funded, under-equipped and under-trained?
The answer seems to be in funding the Nigeria Police to redeem its responsibility as the nation's first line of security instead of using the military in matters that can be handled by a well-funded Police Force.