President Muhammadu Buhari says he has approved “befitting” salaries for the police, urging them to tackle the nation’s internal security threats as they may impact negatively the peaceful conduct of the 2023 elections.
Mr Buhari gave the charge on Monday when he declared open a three-day retreat for senior police officers in Owerri.
The president, who reiterated his commitment to democratic values and strong democratic institutions, also charged the police to remain apolitical, firm and loyal to the nation’s political values.
According to him, no nation advances its democracy and attains its socio-economic and developmental growth without effective policing system.
Mr Buhari said his administration had prioritised critical reforms in the police to effectively review the internal security and democratic governance mandate.
He said he assented to the Nigerian Trust Fund Bill to provide legal framework for enhanced funding regime for the force.
Mr Buhari added that he assented to the Nigeria Police Force Academy Bill to grant statutory recognition for the institution to attain its futuristic manpower development programmes.
“I also approved a new and befitting salary and welfare regime that align the remuneration of police personnel with the state critical functions while also approved and released fund to recruit 10,000 police constables annually to address the wide manpower gap in the force,” he explained.
The president also approved the adoption of the community policing model as an internal security strategy of the country.
“As part of the re-engineering programme of the force, the federal government is currently working with some development partners towards strengthening the police reform agenda. My desire is to restore the primacy of the police force in building public trust and professionalism,” stated the Nigerian leader.
He stressed that “my vision is also to bequeath to the nation a police force that is not only modernised but well-funded, suitably equipped, and appropriately re-orientated to effectively police our democracy and guarantee a stable internal security order under a citizen-led, technology-driven rule of law guided by intelligence-based policing.”