Senator Stella Oduah has described officers of the Nigeria police force as miracle workers.
In an interview with NAN, Oduah, a member of the senate committee on police affairs, said the officers are currently performing above expectations and that they should not be blamed for the high rate of crime.
She said given the kind of money they are paid and the allocation they get for equipment and training, nobody should expect anything better than what they already do.
“I say this with all sense of responsibility; the truth is that the Nigerian police are miracle workers,” she said.
“If you look at how much they are being paid, if you look at the equipment, if you look at their number and you look at the total population, then you look at the budget that is given to them, how they even survive I have no idea.
“Anybody that happens to be an IG of the Nigeria police or the DIG operations, they are miracle workers to manage with that tiny resource.
“Often when they bring their budget because the resources are not there, it is slashed so they end up getting, sometimes, 30 percent of what they need that will barely give them sufficient fuel for their vehicles.
“The vehicles too are not even sufficient. The armed force, the human resources is so inadequate: We are about 170 million people, how many police do we have?
“So I think and I tell them often, I don’t know how they are able to do so but I think several things need to change.”
The lawmaker advocated a special funding mechanism for the police – such that they are placed as first line recipients of the annual budget.
“The legislature must pass a law to give them direct access to fund meaning that they must be first line item beneficiary. That means we must create a police trust fund,” she said.
“We must make sure that they are allowed to recruit enough men and they must prioritise training but they need the money for the training.
“If we do not equip the Nigeria police; if we do not give them the money to train police; if we do not give them the money to buy equipment and for welfare of men and women of the force, frankly we cannot complain.”