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Police budget can barely buy stationery – Arase

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, said on Thursday that declining budgetary allocations lately had boxed the Nigeria Police into a corner where its annual recurrent budget could barely buy stationery for formations across the federation.
“The money that is released to the police cannot even buy stationery for all the police formations in the country,” Arase opened up to the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs in Abuja.

Amid rising security challenges in the country, the IG urged the committee to do everything within its powers to give more money to the police in the 2016 budget to improve on facilities and boost the morale of personnel.

For example, Arase stated that in 2010, the police made a recurrent proposal of N45bn, out of which it got only N16bn.

In 2013, the IG said while the proposal was N56bn, the budget office only released N7bn.

He added that 2015 was worse, as only N5bn was given to the force out of a budget proposal of N71bn it made for the election year.

Arase informed the committee that the situation was not better with capital releases, making many capital projects of the force to fail.

He disclosed that the poor releases had left the police with a liability profile of N54bn.

“We are now left with a combined capital liabilities of about N54bn.

“These are part of the funding challenges that we are currently confronted with, Mr. Chairman,” Arase told the committee.

Arase had led top police officers to the National Assembly to meet with the committee as part of its inaugural meetings, following the naming of standing committees by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, on October 22.

On counter-insurgency operations, the IG said the police had so far lost about 4,900 policemen and 56 police stations.

Arase gave N4bn as the projected cost of rebuilding the police stations and replacing other facilities, which were destroyed.

He also spoke on ongoing efforts to restore civil authorities in communities rescued from Boko Haram insurgents and the improvement of security in internally displaced persons’ camps.

Arase added that the plan to recruit 10,000 policemen was to gradually replace those who had died fighting insurgents and to cover up the vacancy created through the promotion of personnel to higher ranks.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Mr. Haliru Jika, assured Arase that the House would look into the funding problems of the police in a bid to re-position the force and equip police personnel to deliver on their primary duties.
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