1st News can report that despite the deplorable working conditions of the Nigerian Police Force, the budget for the organisation stood at over N2.8bn between 2015 and 2020 for local and international training for its personnel; including the recently dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
These are amongst the issues raised by the #EndSARS protesters, who have for days been staging demonstrations across the country.
Documents on the website of the Budget Office of the Federation revealed that the amount budgeted by the police for local and international training of personnel in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020 totalled N2,833,674,510.
A sum of N1,444,348,560 comprising local training – N1,025,877,847; local travel and transport training – N268,352,974; international travel and transport training – N150,117,739, has however been similarly budgeted for in the 2021 Appropriation Bill, currently before the National Assembly for approval.
The training expenditure for 2016 and 2017 was not reflected in the documents on the website; but in 2015, the police budgeted N489,210,100 for local and international training of personnel; including the cost of transportation.
In 2018, N788,667,088 was budgeted for the training; while in 2019 and 2020, the cost was N777,898,661 respectively. The total for the four years amounted to N2,833,674,510.
Confirming this development, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Austin Iwar, stated that “very few officers in the Nigeria Police are properly trained. If you don’t train an officer well, you can’t expect the best from him. What you give is what you get,” he said.
Iwar added, “Successive Nigerian governments have given the police what you are seeing today; and it is not just the police but also other government institutions.
“But because of the prominence of the police and the fact that they are closer to the people, they impact more on daily life; they are the most visible organ of government. That is why you are seeing what is happening.”
Meanwhile, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has alleged that about N2tn ($6.5bn) has been spent by the government on the police since 2015.
The organisation also said that apart from receiving the amount; the Force had been receiving monthly and annual supportive equipment and cash logistics; including operational vehicles and cash donations from governors of the 36 states and other influential private citizens.