By Hassan Zaggi
More facts have emerged on why the National Assembly (NASS) rejected the Nigeria Police 2018 budget of N332billion.
After scrutinising the proposal, the lawmakers insisted that adequate provisions were not captured for core policing issues by the Police High Command.
They frowned at the situation where only 10 per cent of the budget was allocated to overhead and capital projects, while a whopping 90 per cent was voted for personnel costs.
Similarly, NASS observed that the budget was inadequate to prepare the police to handle the rising cases of kidnappings, armed robbery, Fulani herdsmen/farmersa�� clashes and expected rise in political activities in preparation for the 2019 general elections.
On these grounds, the House Committee on Police Affairs rejected the budget which was presented by the Police Management Team led by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris.
The Committee under the leadership of Hon. Haliru Dauda Jika, thereafter returned the budget, describing it as a�?thoroughly inadequate and grossly incapable of mitigating the hydra-headed security challenges in the countrya�?.
Hon. Jika speaking when he returned the budget to the IGP, asked for an upward review of the figure to reflect current realities in consonance with the ever-changing security dynamics of the country.
He said that considering that 2018 would witness huge political activities and programmes preceding the 2019 election year, a�?this, no doubt, will throw up many multifaceted security challengesa�?.
A cursory look at the N332 billion budget showed that only 10 per cent was assigned to overhead and capital costs, while the remaining 90 per cent was allocated to personnel costs.
Findings by The AUTHORITY have revealed that as at December last year, the personnel strength of the Nigeria Police stood at 300, 892.
This consists of core police personnel, traffic wardens and civilian members of staff. They are spread across the 12 zones of the Nigeria Police Force, 37 state commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 128 Area Commands, 1,388 Divisional Commands, 1,579 Police Stations and 3,756 Police Posts.
Last year, the police budgeted N342 billion for capital expenses and a palty N20.19 billion was released by the Executive arm of government.
Of this appropriated sum, only N9.09billion, representing 45 per cent of the appropriation was released.
The capital allocation for the police usually goes for the provision of requisite tools and infrastructure including vehicles, arms and ammunition, aircraft, intelligence/surveillance equipment and bomb disposal machinery, among others.
Findings also revealed that the Police have 11,191 vehicles and 3,115 motorcycles. Each vehicle requires a minimum of 30 litres of petrol or diesel as the case may be, while the motorcycles need 10 litres of petrol, daily.
a�?A total sum of N16.4 billion is required to fuel 10, 379 petrol engine vehicles on annual basis; N1.6 billion to fund the diesel consumption of 812 vehicles, and N1.64 billion to keep 3,115 motorcycles on the road all year round. This sums up to N19.7 billion on fuelling alone.
a�?Servicing these automobiles requires another N7 billion annually for spares, engine oil change and the like,a�? a source at the Force Headquarters disclosed.
Lamenting on the funding deficit of the police, a Commissioner of Police from one of the state commands who pleaded anonymity, confirmed to The AUTHORITY that his command gets only N10,000 per quarter, for Local Travels and Tours (LTT).
By Hassan Zaggi