Friday, February 27, 2015 10:03 am
Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has explained that for the police to effectively fuel and maintain its vehicles in 2014, it would need a budget of N24 billion for this purpose as against the N5 billion provision in the 2015 budget before the National Assembly.
Abba, represented by his deputy in-charge of Logistics and Supplies, Mamman Tsafe, at a budget defence session before the Senate Committee on Police Affairs in Abuja described the N5 billion proposed for maintaining vehicles and for fuelling of the vehicles as grossly inadequate adding that the police now had more officers and vehicles.
According to him, the strength of the police has increased with 332,756 policemen, 6,693 Traffic Wardens and 11,999 civilian workers with 3,756 police stations and that this should result to an increase in funding with the growth in its workforce instead of the overhead and capital budget proposed which did not reflect the actual need of the police.
Abba further disclosed that out of the N56 billion overhead proposed by the police in 2014, only N8 billion was approved out of which N5 billion was released and for the capital budget, N218 billion was proposed, N7 billion was approved and only N3 billion was released.
“The 2015 budget estimates of the Force summed up to N329 billion; capital expenditure N17 billion, overhead cost N5 billion and personnel cost N306 billion.
“The capital and overhead budget estimates for the 2015 as presented above are the ‘envelopes’ or ‘ceilings’ given to the police and do not reflect the actual needs of the force,” he told the committee while appealing for assistance so that the police force would be repositioned to carry out its responsibilities effectively.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Nwagu, advised the police to start looking for ways to generate revenue to augment what has been budgeted for its operations since the entire budget is already being affected by the falling price of oil and consequent cut in the proposal of all the ministries, departments and parastatals of government.
He also said there was need to tighten all leakages at this critical time.
Tsafe later told journalists that the police may be forced to start generating revenue like other government agencies. He said prior to this time, the police had never been known to be a revenue-generating body, but must now face realities.
“We have so many services we render to the members of the public. Very recently the minister organised seminars for internally generated revenue and definitely we will come out when it is finalised. We have already explained that the budget implementation was at 40 per cent,” he said.
Even with this challenge, he assured that the police was adequately prepared for the forthcoming general elections.