The Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigeria Police Development Fund and Related Matters passed second reading in the the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill, which was read for the first time on March 9, was sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Sen. Abu Ibrahim.
Leading debate on the bill, Ibrahim said the bill sought to provide legal framework for the management and control of the special intervention fund.
He said the fund would be meant for the training and retaining of personnel, provision of equipment, offices and barracks and other facilities to enhance security service delivery of the Nigeria Police.
Ibrahim said the police had a total of 298,735 personnel, spread across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, 128 Area Commands, 1,381 Divisions, 1,579 Police stations and 3,756 Police Posts.
According to him, despite the wide coverage, police depend majorly on government for operational and administrative requirement through annual appropriation.
He said that unfortunately, budgetary allocations in recent times had been based on “envelop’’ concept, which did not reflect the size and scope of responsibility carried by the police.
“If we desire a Police Force that is efficient and capable of maintaining law and order as in other advanced country, a sustainable fund arrangement must be put in place.
“The fund shall comprise an amount constituting half percentage point that is 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account.
“A levy of 0.005 per cent of the net profit of companies operating businesses in Nigeria.
“Also, amount not less than 30 per cent of money accrued to the Cyber Security Fund as provided under Section 4(5) of the Cybercrimes Act.
“Aids, grants and assistance from international bilateral and multilateral agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations and private sector.
“Grants, donations, endowments, bequests and gifts, whether of money, land or any other property whatsoever from any source.
“Monies realised from investments made by the Development Fund and any other monies which may accrue to the fund from time to time,’’ he said.
Ibrahim said the governance framework of the fund shall be vested in a multi-sectoral of 22-man board, chaired by Vice-President.
According to him, the secretariat of the fund shall be headed by an Executive Secretary who will serve for only a single term of five years.
Contributing, the lawmakers commended the efforts of Sen. Ibrahim for sponsoring the bill.
They said the underfunding of the police had led to lapses in the discharge of their duties, particularly in providing internal security.
According to the lawmakers, adequate funding of the police will keep the military from the streets.
Some of the lawmakers, however, raised concern about the provision in the amendment that required using 0.5 per cent of money from the federation account.
They noted that such would require an amendment to the 1999 Constitution.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, urged the committees on Police Affairs and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to organise an elaborate public hearing to include major stakeholders.
According to him, there are other issues on corruption and structure of the force that require extensive discussion and debate.
”We must take inputs from states as there are areas, aside funding that needs to be discussed
”Please organise a strong public hearing that will help us get source of funding that will be within the law,” he said.
He also urged the committees to present report from the hearing before the Senate in four weeks.