By KINGSLEY OMONOBI, Abuja
There is a dangerous signal for the lead security agency in the country (Nigeria Police Force) which only a few weeks ago suffered a devastating Bomb attack from Boko Haram as a shocking revelation emerged that the Nigeria Police, charged with enforcement of law and order is ‘broke’.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that as at May ending this year, the running cost of logistics like fuelling of Police Patrol vehicles in the 36 States Commands, and the federal capital territory had been exhausted. The impact of lack of resources, is being particularly felt in the Boko Haram states, as the Police most times find it difficult responding timely to distress calls when Boko Haram sect members attack.
Saturday Vanguard further leant that while the entire Police Force got a paltry sum of N5billion for logistics, following the slashing of its recurrent expenditure to N5 billion in the 2011 fiscal year, the force through its leadership had spent over N7billion for its recurrent programme as at the end of this week and the balance was gotten through borrowing.
Expatiating on the consequences, Saturday Vanguard was told that in 2007, the police was allocated the sum of N11 billion for recurrent, N12 billion was allocated in 2008; N10.8 billion, 2009; N8 billion in 2010 and N5.5 billion in 2011, which is a far cry from what was initially budgeted for the police in 2011 budget.
Continuing, the source said “trouble started when President Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign into law the 2011 appropriation bill as passed by the National Assembly. When he returned the budget to the National Assembly for amendments, the National Assembly decided to cut down on the budget of ministries, paratatals, and agencies rather than cutting down their own expenditure and the President signed the budget without his attention being drawn to the anomaly .
“They are blaming the police for every problem. The truth is that we are helpless. We cannot fight crime any longer as a result of many shortcomings. Right now, we cannot fuel our patrol vehicles, unless the government intervenes.
Regarding capital expenditure, Saturday Vanguard learnt that the 2011 Capital Expenditure for the police was N8 billion as against N39 billion in 2010 and out of the N39billion, only N11 billion was released to the police.
According to source, based on the expected N39 billion awarded contracts for procurement of equipment, vehicles and renovation of barracks and eventually it was slashed to N11 billion, which now left the police with a debt of N28 billion to be paid to contractors for jobs done in 2010.
The added that, “The situation is precarious. Activities are paralyzed. No money to do anything in the police. We are just watching the government. Our big shots will not talk because nobody wants to be seen as anti-government but the truth must be said, and they want us to perform magic in fighting crime”.
Furthermore, it was gathered that the recurrent expenditure of N5 billion was the money expended for maintenance of buildings, provision of uniforms and accoutrements, local travel and tours, feeding of detainees and fuelling of Aircraft and marine boats.
Also the recurrent expenditure is meant for local and foreign training, payment of burial expenses for officers who lost their lives in line of their duty and payment of accident insurance premium to their next of kins.