Last week Tuesday, the Senate passed the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill which the House of Representatives had passed almost a year ago.
The bill if transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari and receives his assent before the 8th National Assembly winds up in the first week of June this year, will definitely upgrade the funding of Nigeria Police.
As it is now, only the Federal Government is legally responsible for the funding of the Nigeria Police, even though we all know that States Government, some corporate entities and individuals are bearings some of its day to day running expenses if not the larger part of it.
The Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill is meant to address the inadequacy in funding of police particularly the training of its personnel and acquisition of modern equipment that would enable optimal and effective policing of the country.
One of the major objectives of the bill is to improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force. This point was further stressed by President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who presided over the Senate that belatedly passed the bill.
He was very clear in his remark that by the passage of the bill the National Assembly had fulfilled its promise to pass it before expiration of the 8th Assembly.
“By passing this bill, we will be creating big strides towards providing and improving security and policing in our country.
We agree with him that “one of the major concerns about our police has always been the issue of funding”.
We believe that this bill will provide leeway for the funding needed for training, recruitment and equipment. It will also act as a relief to the Federal Government who had borne the burden all these years.
Technically, the bill is aimed at providing a legal framework for the management and control of the special intervention funds established under the Act for the training of personnel of the NPF.
The trust fund should also be utilised to enhance the skills of the personnel of the Police in order to ensure their effectiveness in the overall performance.
Needles to state that constant improvement in the performance of their duties is what the country is craving for.
We also expect that the trust fund would be used to ensure that the NPF has the necessary operational equipment, instructional materials, build and maintain police stations and living quarters.
We therefore appeal to the President to consider assenting the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill as soon as it is transmitted to him to avoid it been elapsed in June this year.
Though, we are not expecting that the bill may contain contentious provisions, we plead that in case there is any, it should be resolved hastily.
The management of the police force should be thinking how to make best use of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill and safeguard it to ensure that it is not bedeviled by graft and all forms of vices.