FG will tackle complex issues limiting police capacity: Minister

The Minister of State for Police Affairs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has said the Federal Government is committed to tackling the complex issues limiting the capability of the Nigeria Police Force.

Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim said this on Monday in Lagos State at citizens’ town hall engagement in strengthening the policing in Nigeria.

She noted that as a forward-looking administration, they were committed to the deep reforms, backed by a robust implementation plan and innovative resource mobilisation and allocation, which had been the bane of previous reform efforts.

According to her, the goal is to see to the emergence of a world-class police force that is inclusive, intelligence-led, technology-driven, and community-based and alive to its constitutional responsibilities.

She said that she was confident and assured that the Nigeria Police Force would live up to its responsibilities in ensuring the safety of the lives and property of Nigerians.

The minister noted that the town hall marked a significant shift of the Federal Government’s approach to policing, as it signified its commitment to full implementation of the community policing strategy as encapsulated in the Police Act 2020.

Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that security was local, therefore, Nigerians must acknowledge and embrace the unique dynamics of each community in pursuit of a safer nation.

She said that the meeting was the first in an extensive series of engagements across the country to ensure that the grassroots understood the security dynamics and foster community-specific solutions.

The minister pointed out that local security interventions must, therefore, be designed based on local peculiarities and considerations with the full participation of members of the various communities and blocks.

“For instance, some communities are experiencing security challenges relating to a high influx of other nationals. Some others are struggling with insecurity relating to rapid urbanisation. Some are struggling with insecurity triggered by resource control and the agrarian nature of their environment, amongst other,” she said.

The minister identified six foundational pillars to serve as strategic frameworks meticulously crafted to redefine and strengthen the NPF.

According to her, the first is technical and operational excellence: Harnessing cutting-edge technology and refining operational protocols to elevate the capabilities of police personnel.

She stated, “This will also include strengthening the air and marine capabilities of the Nigeria Police Force to boost its operational effectiveness.”

Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that there should be a comprehensive standardisation, modernisation and fortification initiative for the physical infrastructure of the NPF, including upgrading facilities and establishing command centres to bolster operational efficiency.

On the welfare of officers, she called for the focusing on their well-being by implementing comprehensive support systems and healthcare measures.

The minister also called for the crafting of a comprehensive policy framework to serve as the backbone of the entire law enforcement apparatus, stressing the need to initiate a strategic branding campaign for the image of the Force.

On community collaboration and public trust, Mr Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that there should be establishment of collaborative partnerships within the community to enhance citizen engagement and fortify public trust.

She stated, “These pillars collectively form the cornerstone of our efforts and aim to position the Nigeria Police Force in an efficient pathway characterised by transparency, public confidence, and a strong connection with the communities it serves.’’

In his contribution, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who assured of more security in the state, pointed out that more areas were being covered with the CCTV cameras to arrest crimes and criminalities.

Mr Sanwo-Olu, however, expressed sadness over the frequent vandalisation of some of the CCTV cameras in some parts of the state, stressing that instructions had been given to the state Criminal Investigation Department to go after the vandals.

Also, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, said that the NPF was committed to the security of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria.