The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigeria Police Force to account for the over N5bn which the 7th National Assembly approved for recruitment of additional personnel.
The lawmakers gave the directive in Abuja as they passed a resolution calling on the Police Service Commission to recruit more men into the service to cover the policing gap in the country.
A member from Abia State, Mr. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, moved the motion which received the endorsement of the majority of members.
The House also said the welfare of officers and men must be given top priority by the Federal Government, like other security outfits, if policemen were expected to give their best to the country.
Leading the debate on the motion, Nkem-Abonta recalled that successive Inspectors-General of Police had complained of lack of adequate welfare and equipment for the force, but noted that till date, the problems persisted.
“The House recalls the plea by the IG, Mr. Solomon Arase, on the PSC, when he visited the commission on May 11, 2015, to recruit more personnel as the force is understaffed,” part of the motion read.
He added that while the United Nations’ recommendation was 222 policemen per 100,000 citizens, in Nigeria, there were just 370,000 policemen for a population of about 170 million.
Nkem-Abonta also quoted Arase as saying that “20 to 30” policemen died monthly with no provisions made to replace them.
Making a comparison with some African countries, the House noted further, “South Africa has a police/citizen ratio of 317 per population, The Gambia has 280, Algeria has 413, while Nigeria, which is more populous than the three African countries put together, has a ratio of 205 policemen for a population of 170 million.”
On welfare, the House called on the PSC “and other relevant institutions to enhance the capacity of policemen by ensuring the provision of adequate welfare packages to sustain their committed resolve towards policing the nation.”