BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA– SUPERVISING Minister of Police Affairs, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, yesterday, disclosed that poor budgetary allocation was hindering the smooth operation of the Nigeria Police Force.
The minister equally said consideration for recruiting additional police men and women to raise the current staff strength of 370,000 was on but regretted that it was being hindered by meager allocation to the ministry.
Speaking when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Police Affairs to defend her ministry’s 2014 budget, Ms Akinjide, told the committee that already her ministry has led a delegation to the Minister of Finance to complain about the shortfalls in the ministry’s budgetary allocations particularly as regards the drop in personnel costs.
According to her: “It is something that worries us and we have made a representation to the ministry of finance. There is no reason to justify the decrease, at worse, we should maintain last year’s amount. The ministry is looking at it and I believe this will be rectified very soon.”
Answering question on the preparedness of the Nigeria Police in the 2015 general elections, Ms Akinjide assured that the police was ready for the 2015 elections, stressing that, “we are ready to deliver on a free, fair and credible elections because it is a cardinal policy of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.”
“The minister also said that there was zero budget for police reform programmes, noting that at the National Economic Council, NEC,meeting chaired by the Vice President and attended by all the governors, it was agreed that one percent of the consolidated revenue funds would be devoted to the funding of the police reform programmes.