The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, has reiterated the need to double the manpower strength of the Nigeria Police Force in the country.
Egbetokun said while addressing men and officers of the Kwara State Police Command in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Friday, that his administration would also look into the welfare of police officers in the country.
The IG, who was on a day working visit to the command, said he was aware of the working conditions of an average policeman, adding that one policeman does the job of two people.
He, however, said the increase in manpower would be gradual and added that President Bola Tinubu has recently given approval for an increase in yearly recruitment.
He said, “We’re paying attention to manpower. I know there’s a shortage of manpower in the command. I know the stress that I have gone through while working as a CP to make sure that the job is done. I know one policeman does the job of two policemen.
“A policeman would close from night duty and resume for morning duty. And as he’s closing from morning duty, he’s resuming night duty. And when he dozes off in public, his photograph is taken and posted, making ridicule of him. I’m aware of all these.
“We’re making efforts to increase your strength. The President had recently given approval for the yearly recruitment of police. That’s the way forward. We need to double the strength of the police force in the country. We cannot do it overnight, but gradually.
“Gradually, we’ll get there. We’ll also emphasise training to achieve a professionally competent police force. We’re also looking into welfare with the increase in salary and other areas to improve the lives of officers, just as equipping the police force is a priority. We promise to take care of the insurance plan too.”
The IGP, who said that he had an interesting time while in Kwara State as the Commissioner of Police, said, “I’m so excited to be with you, seeing your smiling faces.
“I’m aware of your sacrifices to make Kwara peaceful. I’m aware of your exploits, arrests, convictions, breakthroughs, and recovery of arms you are making.”
He also shared the new vision of the police, which he said is to have a “professionally competent, service-driven, rule-of-law compliant, citizen-friendly police force that will support the agenda of the government in economic recovery and growth as well as social integration and political development of our country. A police force that will respond to the dynamic of crime and criminality in our community.”
During a courtesy visit to the Emir of Ilorin, Egbetokun described his visit as a homecoming, while he appreciated the monarch for his support and assistance during his service in Kwara State from 2019 to 2020.
In his welcome address, the state Commissioner of Police, Victor Olaiya, requested the supply of an Armoured Personnel Carrier from the IGP to further enhance the security of banks and improve crime-fighting capacity.
The CP also said the number of policemen and women policing the state has dropped far below the accepted United Nations policing ratio of one policeman to 400 citizens.
He said the Kwara State Police Command was created on May 5, 1967, with a strength of 8,000 policemen, when the population of the state was far below two million people.
The CP said, “Thankfully, the IGP has assured the recruitment of more hands, and we hope and wish it continues.
“Kwara State is a gateway state between the northern and southern parts of the country; this alone has exposed the state to both negative and positive opportunities with her position, hence the need to continually be on our toes.
“The state is surrounded by both local and international borders, making policing challenging. This brings me to the issue of synergy with sister agencies. I am proud to report, sir, that the foundation of collaboration while you served as the Commissioner of Police Kwara State Command has taken a firm root, which has contributed to the successes achieved in the area of crime fighting in the state.
“In spite of logistic challenges and inadequate manpower, the command has been trying to sustain the harmony that has existed in the state.”