A former Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Sunday said what men and women of the Nigerian Police Force urgently need was more than their remuneration.
Mr Abba told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the payment of the salaries of the Nigeria Police Force should not be allowed to disregard their needs during service and after their retirement.
“Remuneration is not a major problem of the Nigerian Police today. One of the major problems of the Police is getting the trust of the public, so that they can work together in fighting the common enemy, which is crime.
“As the largest Police Force in Africa, remuneration should not be used in assessing the welfare of the Nigerian Police.
“Take care of their fall-back positions when they retire; take care of their children’s education, take care of their accommodation while in service and after service,’’ he said.
Mr Abba said that it was imperative for someone who was or had been engaged in crime prevention, like the Police, to work in service and retire with confidence and empowerment.
The former IGP said that the necessary equipment, benefits and work conditions should be given to men and women of the Nigerian Police, as was being done in other parts of the world.
Mr Abba, who maintained that the current salaries of the Nigerian Police could not provide their needs, said that the provision of their additional needs would make them more efficient.
He enjoined states agitating for state police to know that the Police all over the world was expensive to maintain, adding that there was nothing wrong in establishing State Police when such States could maintain them.
Mr Abba said that it was only Lagos State that had showed signs of operating a State Police, and not some other States who could not even pay teachers’ salaries.
“There is nothing wrong in States establishing their own Police, but we must know that the Police is expensive to maintain.
“The Lagos State Government to some extent is prepared to sponsor the police in its state, if they are handed over to it.
“Many other States agitating for State Police are not in position to provide for such now because some of them cannot even now effectively pay the salaries of their teachers,” he said.
Mr Abba worked in various capacities in the Nigeria Police Force. He served as commissioner of police in Lagos and Rivers States, and was a one-time AIG in charge of Zone 7, Abuja.
He also once served as Aide-De-Camp, ADC, to Maryam Abacha, spouse of Nigeria’s former military leader, Sani Abacha.