The welfare of the serving security officers in the military, para-military, and especially men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force, has been a dominant issue in these times of tense national security matters. That is why there is something to cheer for police officers, particularly the news that the Federal Government has approved a new upward salary review for the officers of the Force.
According to reports, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday this week announced this salary review when he received members of the Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police in his office at the State House, Abuja. Mr Musiliu Smith, Chairman of the Commission was represented by Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd) at the occasion.
The press release signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an enhanced salary structure for the NPF or Rank Salary Structure Adjustment. He further pledged his administration’s commitment to ensure that the lost glory of the Force, the welfare of officers is restored as well as guarantee that the internal security of the country which is a constitutional duty of the police is prioritised.
For a long time now, the police officers have taken the heat from critical members of the public as corrupt, inept, incapable of tackling crimes, kidnappings and killings in the country; or that the Force is unable to enforce law and order in instances of civil strife. While there may be a few bad eggs in the Force, just as in other professions, countless numbers of police officers have paid and continued to pay ultimate sacrifices. Some have been killed by armed robbers during confrontations, leaving their families behind.
The officers and men of Nigerian Police Force are poorly trained and remunerated. Many police commands are not able to respond to emergency calls because there are no operational vehicles and where they are available, they are not usable because they are not serviced or there is no fuel money. Is it under this kind of condition that we expect proper policing of close to 200 million Nigerians?
From the statement, the president is well aware of the problems or inefficiencies of the Force, as well as security management lapse in the country. Part of this, the president noted, is the deployment of the military personnel in internal or civil security matters.
Buhari was quoted as saying that, “From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-South, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system,” he said.
It is our hope, like the president said that this commendable effort of pay rise will indeed impact positively on officers and would lead to improved national policing.
“From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-South, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system”