President Muhammadu Buhari, has set a yearly recruitment targets for the Nigeria police in order to the increase the number of police personnel in the country.
He said his administration was also in the process of reequipping personnel of the police with personal gears and hardware.
Buhari spoke yesterday at Omagwa in Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State, during the official commissioning of Base 6 of the Special Police Protection Unit, initiated and built by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The president, who was represented by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, said he has directed the building of more barracks for men and women of the Nigeria police in collaboration with the Family Home Fund.
He said: “Police Force is a crucial component of our law enforcement architecture. They are the civil force; the closest to the people in the various communities. In the past months, we have been taking a major reform of the police.
“First, we believe that we must increase the number of police personnel. So, we have set yearly recruitment targets. We are also in the process of reequipping our personnel, both in personal gear and hardware.
“An important feature of the reform is accommodation for men and officers and I have directed that the building of barracks for men and women of the Police Force should be done in collaboration with the social housing effort of the Family Home Fund. This will ensure speedy execution of all the projects and all of the barracks that need to be funded.”
Buhari thanked the NDDC for the housing project for the police, saying that it was a way of reducing housing difficulties experienced by senior police officers in the country.
He commended the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for ensuring that his directive to the NDDC to complete all abandoned projects that had direct bearing on the people, was carried out.
In his speech, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, appealed to the president to compel the management of NDDC to synergize with state governments in the Niger Delta region before the execution of projects.
“The problem of NDDC is not only the Niger Delta, the problem of NDDC is the entire Nigeria. The only problem I have with NDDC is not synergy with the state. I took NDDC to court and defeated them. Time has come that you must synergise with the states, not minding the political party governing the state.
“None of our partnership of the NDDC has worked. I will make sure you don’t use that road to your headquarters if you don’t pay your counterparts fund for the Eastern Bypass. Mr. President, tell them to pay N2.5bn counterparts fund.”
In his remarks, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the completion of the SPU housing units and the NDDC headquarters was based on the directives of Buhari on abandoned projects.
Earlier in his welcome address, sole administrator of the NDDC, Efiong Akwa, said the contract for the project was awarded in 2012 but was abandoned for about 10 years due to lack of funds.