Mixed reactions have continued to trail plans by the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 to spend N100 billion in rehabilitating all the 44 damaged and destroyed police stations nationwide, during the #EndSARs protests.
Some respondents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday, commended the initiative, while some described it as a “misplaced priority”.
NAN reports that the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 on Thursday unveiled a N100 billion equipment support to retool the Nigerian Police Force over the next two years.
Similarly, the Bankers Committee, in collaboration with the CACOVID, agreed to support government’s efforts in rebuilding confidence in the nation’s economy in the aftermath of the EndSARs protests.
The Managing Director of BIC Consulting Services, Dr. Boniface Chizea, who commended the group’s kind gestures, said that philanthropic gestures were second nature to some of its key members.
Chizea said: “Of course it is a laudable move, they have done a lot since their formation, including construction of isolation centres and massive provisions of palliatives.
“Philanthropic gestures is second nature to key members such as Elumelu, Dangote, etc.
“That is what they have always done and been known for.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Arvo Finance, Ayotunde Bally, advised that the funds be used to empower and educate the members of the police force for better service delivery.
Bally said: “In my opinion, gadgets and equipment should not be the first priority for funds allocated to the Nigeria Police Force.
“Those monies should be channeled towards improving the lives and working conditions of the police officers.
“The police are human and, therefore, need the right conditions and incentives to give 100 per cent to this essential vocation.
“I will suggest that the funds be used to adequately empower and educate the police force so that they can do their job with pride.
“Without improving their living standards and sensitising the police force, the cycle of corruption within the force will persist and such a huge amount would be wasted.
“We need the police to take pride in what they do and re-earn the respect of the citizens.
“This can only happen if they are well trained and well compensated.”
Chief Martin Onovo, a Political Economist and a former presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party in 2015, urged Nigerians to insist on transparency in the CACOVID intervention.
According to Onovo, details of all transactions from the fund should also be scrutinised, saying the intervention can be seen as patriotic, but the history of failing banks in Nigeria and the economic crisis had created a mystery around the CACOVID intervention.
He said: “We know how Nigerian banks accumulated over N5 trillion toxic debts for AMCON a few years back.
“We must insist on public transparency in this intervention.
“As these are publicly quoted companies, we can have access to information to verify their financial performance and contributions to this cause.”