The Federal Government on Tuesday said it recruited 40,000 police officers in the last four years to tackle the increasing insecurity problems confronting the country.
Speaking on Tuesday during the opening of a two-day retreat for senior police officers in Uyo, President Muhammadu Buhari said the recruitment was aimed at re-energizing and improving the personnel of the force.
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Buhari also stated that within the last four years, aside granting accent to the Nigerian Police Trust Fund, there was an upward review of salaries and allowances for the rank and file to boost the morale of policemen.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Maigari Dingyadi, mentioned that he accented to the Nigerian Police Regulatory Bill 2020, and set up a Task Force on the evaluation of the Nigerian Police headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo.
He commended the two arms of the National Assembly for their support to the Police, and assured that the federal government would continue to prioritize efforts that would re-engineer and re-equip the force to tackle the increasing and complex security challenges facing the country.
“Ladies and gentlemen, an opportunity for a professionally driven police force is critical to national cohesion and socio- economic development.
“It is in recognition of this that this administration has prioritized the reforms, re-equipping and re-engineering of the Nigerian Police, being the lead agency in the internal security architecture of our dear country,” he stated.
The President commended the Nigerian Governors Forum for supporting the Police, Akwa Ibom State Government for hosting the conference, and hoped the conference would engender a new focus in policing, and project a new united front against elements threatening the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, said the conference was borne out of the desire to ensure capacity building as a pathway to re-invigorating strategic leadership capacity towards the enhancement of optimal police service delivery.
Baba urged the senior police officers to make use of the forum to review policing vision, mission and strategies as laid out following his appointment as the 21st indigenous Inspector General of Police, as well as assess the Police reform initiatives of the Federal Government and the Force.
He maintained that the retreat would align the officers with the current and evolving policing and internal security realities as well as give the senior police officers the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of technology in new policing strategies.
The IGP said the police would continue to explore all available strategies in guaranteeing security and safety of all Nigerians in line with the police mandate.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, called on the participants to evolve more proactive ways of addressing the security challenges in the country, as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections.
Governor Emmanuel also urged the participants to look into reasons why more young people in the country are involved in criminality now than before so as to address the menace to safe the future, noting that the youth are future leaders.
“As we move towards the election year, this retreat cannot be more timely than now, therefore it is my believe that the conference will bring out proper solutions through ideas generation to addressing the challenges of the time and for better policing of the country,” he said.
The conference has the theme: “The New Police Vision – A Road Map for stabilising Internal Security”.