President Muhammadu Buhari has established yearly recruitment targets for the Nigerian police force in order to boost the country’s police force.
He also stated that his administration was in the process of re-equipping police officers with personal gear and hardware.
Buhari spoke at the official opening of Base 6 of the Special Police Protection Unit, which was initiated and built by the Niger Delta Development Commission, yesterday in Omagwa, Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State (NDDC).
The president, who was represented by his vice president, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, said he had authorized the Family Home Fund to construct new barracks for Nigerian policemen and women.
“Police Force is an important part of our law enforcement architecture,” he stated. They are the civic force, and they are the ones who are closest to the citizens of the various villages. We have been undergoing a substantial police reform in recent months.
“First and foremost, we feel that the number of police officers should be increased. As a result, we’ve set yearly recruitment goals. We’re also reequipping our personnel, both in terms of personal gear and hardware.
“An important feature of the reform is accommodation for men and officers and I have directed that the building of barracks for men and women of the Police Force should be done in collaboration with the social housing effort of the Family Home Fund. This will ensure speedy execution of all the projects and all of the barracks that need to be funded.”
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Buhari thanked the NDDC for the housing project for the police, saying that it was a way of reducing housing difficulties experienced by senior police officers in the country.
He commended the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for ensuring that his directive to the NDDC to complete all abandoned projects that had direct bearing on the people, was carried out.
In his speech, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, appealed to the president to compel the management of NDDC to synergize with state governments in the Niger Delta region before the execution of projects.
“The problem of NDDC is not only the Niger Delta, the problem of NDDC is the entire Nigeria. The only problem I have with NDDC is not synergy with the state. I took NDDC to court and defeated them. Time has come that you must synergise with the states, not minding the political party governing the state.
“None of our partnership of the NDDC has worked. I will make sure you don’t use that road to your headquarters if you don’t pay your counterparts fund for the Eastern Bypass. Mr. President, tell them to pay N2.5bn counterparts fund.”
In his remarks, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the completion of the SPU housing units and the NDDC headquarters was based on the directives of Buhari on abandoned projects.
Earlier in his welcome address, sole administrator of the NDDC, Efiong Akwa, said the contract for the project was awarded in 2012 but was abandoned for about 10 years due to lack of funds.