President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that the Federal Government would recruit 10,000 additional police personnel to strengthen the capacity of the Nigeria Police in the fight against insurgency and other criminal activities in the country.
The President said this while declaring open a National Security conference organised by the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with The Sun Publishing Limited in Abuja.
He said that his administration was also considering the expansion of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) monitoring system across major cities and towns to address national security challenges.
“While it is understandable that unemployment, illiteracy, radicalization, negative peer group influence, substance abuse and erosion of family and moral values are social factors that underline criminal tendencies, the reality remains that the task of addressing these challenges is that of parents, teachers, community and the state.
“In other words, it is bottom to top operation.
“It is in acknowledgment of this that I have defined youth empowerment as one of the cardinal objectives of our administration.
“In furtherance to this, the Federal Government is planning to employ at least extra 10,000 officers and establish a properly trained and equipped Federal anti-terrorism multi-agency task force to effectively address the challenge of future insurgency in a sustainable manner.
“In order to further strengthen the security of the public space, consideration is being given to the expansion of the (Close Circuit Television) CCTV monitoring system across major cities and towns in the country.”
According to the president, efforts are being made to enhance the operational capacity of officers and men of Nigeria Police through a rigorous training programme that will give them the right civil orientation in their roles as guardians of the nation’s constitution.
He said that his administration would encourage states to look at state-level community interaction with the police under a model that would integrate members of the community to policing functions at the grassroots.
This, he said, would be in appreciation of the strategic role of the citizens and community in the modern policing.
The president saluted the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force for dismantling road blocks, replacing them with motorized patrols with over 500 patrol vehicles to check criminal activities across the country.
He reiterated his administration’s determination to ensure efficient, disciplined and people-friendly and well compensated security architecture.
In his goodwill message, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, announced readiness of traditional rulers to partner with the administration in the ongoing fight against corruption.
The Sultan, who is also a member of the National Peace Committee, also urged the president to ensure that all ill-gotten wealth were forfeited and culprits prosecuted in accordance with existing laws of the federation.
On security, the Sultan advocated for the integration of traditional ways of policing into modern policing to achieve greater results in the fight against criminal activities in the society.
In his remarks, the chairman of The Sun Publishing Limited and former Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, said the rationale of the security conference was informed by the fact that crime-control needed to be augmented with other non-combative approaches.
According to him, the conference will be the first installment of many fora that will be held to enlighten Nigerians on the essence of collaborative security measures, especially as it affects community participation in crime fighting.
“It reckoned that a participatory approach to policing of the Nigerian society will ensure ownership of the reform of the stakeholders, which in turn will make the programme sustainable.
“This will seek to create the required community policing environments where the police work hand in hand with the public.
“And as both parties collaborate in designing solutions to the inherent security problems, it will be easy for the public to not only perceive itself as partner with the police, it will in turn restore its trust in the police and help to improve prevention and control mechanisms.’’
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, who delivered a welcome address at the event, said in considering the proposal for citizens-led policing frame “it is vital that the modalities for a sustainable funding strategy for the Nigeria Police be concurrently explored”.
He said that modern policing was a cost-intensive venture and the benefits of a well-funded police force far outweigh the value of the budgetary investment.
Arase, therefore, called for the resuscitation and passage of the Police Trust Fund Bill which had been pending in the National Assembly since 2012.
“For it is only through adequate funding that the huge logistic demand of the police can be met and operational efficiency assured.
“Through effective funding, the welfare needs of police personnel will be met and the challenge of corruption that has eroded professionalism and public respect for police officers will be addressed.
“This rich assemblage of respected and vastly knowledgeable personalities is therefore encouraged to consider funding options for the police.
“In so doing, consideration may be given to the resuscitation and passage of the Police Trust Fund Bill which has been pending in the National Assembly since 2012.’’
According to him, the bill seeks to tax corporate entities in order to complement the Federal Government in funding the police.
He said the bill, if passed into law, would give effect to the concept of public-police partnership while addressing the funding challenges of the police on a sustainable basis