The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila says more funding will be required to modernize the country’s Police Force, and get it more effective in tackling insecurity.
Mr Gbajabiamila, who made the remark when the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali Baba, paid him a courtesy visit at the National Assembly, stated that the image of the policeman in public sent wrong signals of incompetence.
He told the IGP that unlike the case in some countries, the Nigerian policeman did not have adequate equipment to work and was not well-catered for.
He said, “We need to know that police work has a lot to do with psychology. Why are policemen looking tattered on the streets? They wear dirty, torn uniforms and you see them in slippers.
The speaker also pledged to the IGP his leadership’s willingness, to partner with the force to identify its areas of need and address them through improved funding, recruitment, and training.
According to him, the 9th House is committed to building a police force that would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other police services in other parts of the world.
Gbajabiamila gave the assurance that the requests from the needs assessment report could either be accommodated in the 2021 supplementary budget being expected by the National Assembly or a separate window could be created to capture the funding challenges of the police.
He added that the House was concerned about the rising insecurity in the country and had responded to it by setting up a special committee to interface with the executive arm with a view to addressing the situation.
Gbajabiamila told the IG that the committee would start sitting within the next few days.
Speaking earlier, the IGP said his visit was to thank Gbajabiamila and the House for the support the police had received from the 9th Assembly.
He appealed for the speedy passage of other bills on police matters such as the Police Service Commission (Amendment) Bill.
Mr Baba also made a passionate appeal to the speaker on police funding, saying that the force had become a miracle worker, having to function with clearly inadequate funds.