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Re: Why Policemen live beggarly

I read with concern the interview granted the Daily Trust Newspaper by a retired Commissioner of Police which appeared at page 12 of its edition…

I read with concern the interview granted the Daily Trust Newspaper by a retired Commissioner of Police which appeared at page 12 of its edition of December 11, 2017.  He dwelt on the causes of the alleged poor living conditions of some retired personnel of the force.  The outburst is coming too soon on the heels of “EndSars” conundrum.  

I am not joining issues with the former top copy who had seen it all during his meritorious service.  However my call to the present administration or any government in power is for the radical improvement in the welfare package of the rank and file of the Police Force and other sister security agencies as they are dutifully the first to come on the line of fire when confronting dare-devil criminals, terrorists, insurgents and other despicable groups terrorising innocent and law abiding citizens across the nation.  

Now let us look into some examples of areas which may facilitate an expected upward swing in performance of all officers and men of the service.  An immediate increase in the take home pay through boosting either the salary or allowances components or both by not less than 300% – 500% on their current earnings.  The budget people will say it is not possible in the circumstances.  

Take the force out of the quandary called the Grade Level system of the mainstream civil service and give them their own.  Review the package periodically to take of the unusual economics of the prevalent Nigerian market forces.  A critical review may also be necessary in the area of upkeep of families of fallen officers.  Their children should enjoy automatic government scholarships at all levels of education in the country.  Immediate relief or succour should also be given to the families of deceased officers as being done in some commands, according to press reports over the years.  This is before the tortuous bureaucratic task of processing of benefits to the next of kin.  I am sure these might have been captured in the past reports of committees chaired by former Inspectors-General of the Police and some silently being implemented.  Sufficient and decent barrack accommodation is sine quality non for effective service.  Estates should be built for retirees of the force on owner occupier basis throughout the federation.  It will boost morale, transparency and selfless service.  Similarly Police Nursery, Primary and Boarding Secondary Schools for their children and wards to be available in each command would be one of the greatest legacies any Inspector General will bequeath to the force after leaving the service.  

Having taken care of the education of their siblings, officers would enjoy peace of mind and attend to their duties unhindered.   Such schools, if eventually established, should not come under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Education but under a management board responsible to the office of the IGP.  Fast and modern patrol cars are necessary to back up the current rugged four wheel drives.  Customised motor cycles, speed boats and helicopters are very essential but in very large numbers and regularly to contribute to the success of an envisaged modern Nigeria Police Force but certainly not negative vituperations referred to above.  We wish the force more grease to its elbows in the herculean task of keeping crime at bay.   

Abubakar Usman, retired Permanent Secretary, Bauchi. [email protected] 


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