The Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has directed that policemen across the country work eight hours daily to curtail work-related stress to reduce the misuse of firearms and extrajudicial killings.
The shift duty structure of the Nigeria police is currently a 12-hour, two shifts system against the eight hours three shift standard.
Mr Adamu gave the directive at the opening of a two-day Conference of Heads of Police Medical Facilities on Thursday in Abuja.
The theme of the conference is: ‘Stay Healthy To Secure the Nation’.
“I have ordered that with immediate effect, the shift duty structure of the Nigeria police which is currently a 12-hour, 2-shifts system should be reverted to the traditional 8-hours, 3-shift standard.
“For purpose of clarity, henceforth, no personnel should be made to perform any duty exceeding 8-hours within a space of 24 hours unless there is local or national emergency,” he said.
He said that this new system would reduce cases of misuse of firearms and other misconduct by policemen which is caused by stress.
The police boss said that the only time the duty structure would exceed eight hours was during local or national emergency.
Mr Adamu said that policing was highly demanding job physically, mentally and psychologically, required a good state of mind.
He explained that the directive was specifically given to address a major age-long occupational stress which long hours of duty engenders among personnel of the police.
Mr Adamu urged the police medical services to complete the leadership of the force by striving to guarantee a healthy work life of officers.
He charged personnel of the unit to continue to discharge their duty with high sense of commitment and responsibility.
Earlier, Obembe Modupe, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Force Medical, said that there was a need to evaluate the mental conditions of candidates during recruitment.
She also called for mandatory, periodic and regular assessment of the health resilience of officers during training and while in service.
Mrs Modupe said that this measure would reduce the prevalence of sudden deaths and misuse of firearms contrary to section 237 of the Police Act and Regulation.
He said that there was also the need for continued capacity training for officers for improved healthcare services.