SARS: Chidoka canvasses review of Police funding, organisational framework

Former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, has called for immediate review of the current Police funding and organisational framework.

He said the Federal Government should fund personnel cost of Police officers while States should take over operational and capital cost.

The call followed incessant cases of harassment and brutality of the citizens by officers of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, in a statement, said Police organizational and funding framework would bring lasting change and reduce the need for special forces.

The statement reads: “SARS is symptomatic of a terminal disease. Their constant turning their guns on Nigerians are abominable and criminal. It is a crime against the people and should be dealt with seriously.

“My simple solution is: Federal Government should fund Personnel cost of Police Officers while States should take over Operational and capital cost.

“Transparency International said 29 states spent N241 billion on security vote; 70 percent of annual Police Budget.

“Current Police funding and organizational construct is a joke and should be reviewed immediately.

“Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), in a Factsheet, revealed that personel cost consume 92.4 percent of budget. Only 3.6 percent is for capital while under 5% is for Overheads.

“Overheads pay for training, fuel, electricity and the running of the force. Police should be Overhead heavy as the cost of patrolling, training, use of data for internet and call centers and other operational costs determine Police effectiveness.

“States should take over Capex & Overheads which at average of N4 billion per year per state will increase Police capital and overhead budget by over N120 billion with better accountability and still leave the Governors with some discretionary security vote.

“Police budget as a percentage of National budget has been declining since 2015 while actual releases of Capex and Overheads has been less than budgeted. The current funding and control mechanism is clearly suboptimal and the outcome is growing insecurity.

“To end SARS is good but immediate reset of Police organizational and funding framework will bring lasting change and reduce the need for special forces.” [NewsExpress]