The Nigeria Police has been identified as being among the most poorly funded in the world.
This observation was made known during a stakeholders’ roundtable meeting on Police Budget, organised by the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre and the Nigerian Policing Programme.
The National Coordinator of RLAAC, Ikechukwu Nwanguma, said for many years, the Force has been accused of poor service delivery and subject to negative public perception.
He said: “Some comparative analysis of police funding across countries in Africa and the world indicate that the Nigeria police is among the most poorly funded. Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in December 2017, while declaring open the public hearing on the Police Trust Fund Bill said that the Nigeria Police is the most underfunded in the world as well as the most underfunded agency of government in Nigeria.”
According to Nwanguma, there is what has been described as the political dimension to resource allocation in Nigeria.
He explained that there are Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which have powerful voices pushing for better funding for them, unlike the police that has been described as an orphan.
Nwanguma said: “In a document presented at Senate public hearing on the bill for the establishment of a police trust fund, the immediate past Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, revealed that in 2016, only N16.1 billion was allocated to the Nigeria Police for the capital development, out of which only N10 billion was released. He also revealed that out of the N31.6 billion allocated to the Nigeria Police in the 2017 budget, only N8 billion had so far been released.”
Idris had further argued that going by the present low budgetary allocation, the Nigeria Police cannot achieve its goals in the area of communication and information technology infrastructure, purchase of operational vehicles, crafts and other facilities and provision of the full complement of arms and ammunition, riot control equipment, protective gears, armoury and forensic technology and scientific aids for investigation.
“Typically, overhead and capital costs take the least portion of police annual budgets while personnel costs take the chunk. For the 2018 fiscal year, for example, the NPF submitted an N332 billion budget. Only about 10 per cent of the budget covered overhead and capital costs. The remaining 90 per cent was specifically for personnel costs for the service,” said Nwanguma.
Nwanguma, who said that police underfunding has many negative effects, including resulting in low dedication to duty and performances, added that the way forward was for the government to look at adequate funding for the police.
His words: “Adequate funding for the police was one of the key recommendations by the Public Service Reforms in Nigeria in its 2010 report on reform in the Nigeria Police force. It said the police force should be well funded, be self-accounting and in total control of their budget as against the Ministry of Police Affairs, as at the time, controlling their budget. All police zones, commands and formations should be involved in providing inputs into the budgetary process according to their needs.”