Community Policing Gets N31m, South-West Govs, IG Meet Thursday
The Federal Government has budgeted N31.08m for procurement of tools for community policing activities in 2020.
Checks in the Federal Government’s 2020 budget showed the provision for the expenditure under the Ministry of Police Affairs’ estimates.
Although the budget did not state items to be procured for community policing, it simply said the funds were meant for procurement of tools.
But there were indications on Tuesday that the Federal Government had yet to release funds for the implementation of the community policing scheme.
It was gathered that the delay in the release of the money was partly responsible for the slow take-off of the policy which was meant to complement the conventional police in tackling the insecurity in the country.
The Federal Government had last month directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to begin the process of recruiting constables for the community policing scheme.
On January 23, Adamu, in a wireless message to state commissioners of police, ordered them to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders with a view to setting up screening committees for the recruitment.
There have been discordant tunes at state police commands as some said they had begun the recruitment, while others said they were awaiting guidelines from the Force Headquarters.
But sources in the police revealed on Tuesday that funds for training and purchase of accoutrements for the 40,000 volunteers that would be engaged ought to have been released to the police by the Ministry of Finance.
The source said, “We need money for their kits which would be provided by us. The special constables’ shoes, belts, batons would all be provided by the police. So these are all tied to the release of funds.
“I believe the police high command has submitted a budget for the policy implementation, but we are yet to get a kobo from the finance ministry. This is part of the reasons for the slow pace of the implementation.”
But the force spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frank Mba, when asked to react to the non-release of funds, said, “The policy is on course.”
Meanwhile, the governors of the six South-West states will meet with the Inspector-General of Police on Thursday (tomorrow) to fine-tune discussions on the geographical zone’s security outfit, Operation Amotekun.
The Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during a visit to the Presidential Villa.
Akeredolu, who is the Governor of Ondo State, held a meeting with the President, Muhammadu Buhari .
Recall that the states were asked to initiate bills to the legislature in their respective jurisdictions to pass laws backing Amotekun.
This came after the Federal Government gave its nod to the exercise, which is now expected to run side-by-side the government’s community policing concept.
Akeredolu spoke with State House correspondents in a reaction to speculation that his visit to Buhari was in connection with Amotekun.
The governor clarified that his visit was for the purpose of inviting the President to participate in the activities lined up for the third anniversary of his administration.
He said the President was invited specifically to inaugurate the Ore-Benin interchange and the Ondo industrial hub.
The governor also denied that he backed the Amotekun project to cash in on it to win re-election for a second term.
The governor said, “Amotekun is about security and on the 6th of this month, the state governors (of the South-West) will meet with Inspector-General of Police to sort out a few things.
“We don’t need Amotekun for the people of Ondo State to appreciate what we have done in the last three years.”
He explained that the Ore-Benin interchange was so dear to the people of the state, who had long suffered along the route due to traffic challenges, a reason he wanted Buhari to inaugurate it.
He disclosed that the state government spent “over N5billion” to complete the flyover.
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