Thursday, August 20, 2015 10:02 pm
There are only 305,579 policemen for the entire 170 million Nigerians, a ratio of one policeman to 560 Nigerians.
The United Nations recommends 222 policemen for 100,000 people, which means that Nigeria will need about 770,000 policemen on its payroll to be able to meet this minimum standard.
The big guns in the Police Affairs Ministry and the Police Service Commission drew President Muhammadu Buhari’s attention to the gross manpower shortage at a meeting on Thursday, making the president order a reduction of policemen attached to VIPsand the redeployment of such officers to regular police duty.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Dr James Obiegbu, had listed its problems to include inadequate police personnel, dwindling finances and non-rehabilitation of police training schools.
The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Okiro, stressed the need for additional police personnel to meet the security challenges in the country.
According to him, the current number of policemen and women is inadequate for effective policing.
Although he thanked President Buhari for approving the recruitment of 10,000 additional policemen and women, he said the police needed additional 20,000 men.
“We briefed the president on the needs and challenges the organisation is facing.
“We briefed him on the successes recorded so far, we briefed him on how and things to be done to ensure that the security of Nigeria is maintained and all are assured.
“We talked about recruitment of police officers.
“Over the years, more than 21,000 police officers have retired, some dismissed, some died between 2010 and today.
“Of this number, only about 1,605 have been replaced giving a deficit of a very large number.’’
On the stagnation of policemen on a rank for many years, President Buhari counselled the Police Service Commission to review the current structure of the police with a view to addressing the problem.
He also enjoined the commission to recommend how the problem could be solved for immediate implementation to boost the morale of serving policemen.