If there is one government institution that has come under heavy criticism from members of the public, it is the Nigeria Police Force. The force has been criticized for its reactive approach and inability to fight crime effectively. Over the years, it has been lambasted for its unprofessionalism, endemic corruption and ineptitude.
This reactive attitude to policing has further buttress the fact that the force is grossly equipped to fight crime. Major factors militating against the force today are: poor funding, lack of welfare and logistics support as well as inadequate training facilities. These have invariably led to recurrent abysmal performance by the police.
Unfortunately, these numerous challenges have doubled going by the current rate of crime and criminality in the country. There are cases of armed robbery, terrorism, extrajudicial killing and kidnapping. Worse still, police personnel appear hapless, hopeless and defenseless in the face of these serious security breaches.
Ironically, Nigeria Police receives commendation from other countries for performing gallantly at the United Nations peace-keeping operations because of high level of motivation and sundry welfare packages. But lo and behold, the reverse seems to be the case in Nigeria where environmental and operational factors have seriously undermined the performance of police personnel.
The questions now agitating the minds of Nigerians are: Can we really expect much from the police when they are not properly funded and equipped? How prepared and equipped are the police in the task of protecting lives and property? Are they well motivated to stake out their lives for Nigerians? These are questions whose answers are far from comforting.
First and foremost, police personnel must be well armed with sophisticated arms and ammunition to be able to nip crime in the bud. In view of the current security challenges, it has become germane to overhaul and perhaps retool the force to meet the enormous challenges of policing over 170 million Nigerians.
The importance of security in the life of a nation cannot be downplayed. If there is one aspect of life that should not be toyed with, it is the security of life and property of citizens. This is why advanced countries spend huge chunk of money just to ensure that the lives of its citizens are well protected. This goes without saying that no amount of money is too big as far as security is concerned.
It is sad that the spate of insecurity in Nigeria has gotten to a stage where decisive action should be taken. The various bomb blasts that have resulted to the death of many innocent lives are indeed strong indications that a lot still need to be done in terms of equipping the force to be proactive.
Security is multi-dimensional in nature and needs a multi-dimensional approach.
The force should be adequately funded to achieve better result. Many police personnel compromise in their line of duty because of the ‘starvation allowance’ they get as their take-home pay. Policing is capital intensive; it requires continuous funding for effective result. In fact, poor remuneration and welfare of police personnel have multiple implications because it would leave the masses at the mercy of unscrupulous elements in the society. If the right amount of money can be injected into the force, there is no doubt that the police would not rise up to the challenge.
As the country prepares for another general election, it is indeed time to give the force a facelift. Thus, all the stakeholders in the security industry should complement government efforts by providing logistics support for the Nigeria Police to enable it fight crime effectively and efficiently.
Moreover, the welfare of police personnel should be paramount. Police is a professional job and as such, it should be given a professional touch and consideration in all ramifications.
Nevertheless, training and recruitment of qualified personnel is indeed necessary for achieving effective policing in Nigeria. When qualified personnel are recruited, there is the guarantee that they would achieve the desired result. It is vital to inject and train qualified men and women with impeccable character with the determination to deliver. Once the force is made up of the right calibre of people and of course with the requisite training, effective policing is just within a grabbing distance.
Therefore, there are no misgivings that equipping the Nigeria Police for better service delivery, especially now that the country is facing serious security challenges, cannot be disputed. There is every need to equip and reposition the force to checkmate acts of terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping and other sundry crimes, threatening our corporate existence.

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