Posted on Thursday, 16 October 2014 12:01

Nigeria seeks to curb police corruption

By Konye Obaji Ori

Nigeria's governement is seeking increased funding to improve training and welfare for the police force. Photo©ReutersNigeria is set to increase spending on its police force to curb corruption and fight Islamist group, Boko Haram whose terror campaign has killed thousands of civilians.

President Goodluck Jonathan has proposed a Bill through the senate seeking to improve working conditions for the police.

The state of our police force calls for immediate intervention

Nigeria's police force is poorly resourced and the government is under pressure to improve the situation with the Boko Haram menace escalating.

Police officers, especially the rank and file, are the least paid among security agencies in the country, a situation that analysts say fuels corruption.

Jonathan's Bill proposes financial contribution from the federal government to raise wages of tens of thousands of poorly paid officers.

It also seeks increased funding to improve training and welfare for the police force to properly maintain order, manage public safety and to enforce the law.

Jonathan proposed the Bill through a letter to the senate president, David Mark.

The letter says: "The state of our police force calls for immediate intervention if Nigeria is to achieve the desired result of operating an effective police force in tune with international best practice."

"The Bill as presented seeks to provide financial contribution by the federal government to the police reform programme, which is a deliberate government policy aimed at equipping and repositioning the Nigeria Police to more effectively and efficiently meet its constitutional obligations."

The government has often been blamed for the poor state of the Nigeria Police in the face of the mass killings by Boko Haram.

The CLEEN Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation, recently called for an improvement in working conditions for the police saying its years of research had shown that chronic underfunding was to blame for corruption.

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