By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
As a measure to transform the Nigerian Police to towards tackling the insurgency in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday forwarded to the Senate, a Bill for an Act to provide funds for the equipment of the Nigeria Police.
However, the details of the Police Reform Bill and how much funds to be deducted were not made public in the letter.
The President, in the letter to the Senate titled: ‘Bill for an Act to provide for financial contribution by the Federal Government of Nigeria to Police Reform Programme and for Matters connected thereto’ noted with dismay the poor condition of the police force which he said needed immediate intervention.
The letter addressed to the Senate President, David Mark reads in part, “Further to my letter dated 16th June 2014, I forward herewith for your kind consideration and passage into law, the above mentioned Bill.
“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.”
Also in another letter to the Senate yesterday, President Jonathan submitted the 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for the year’s Appropriation.
However, the oil price bench mark and some other parameters upon which the 2015 Budgets estimates would be based were not disclosed in the letter.
It will be recalled that the 2014 Appropriation Bill was delayed because of the disagreement between the Presidency and the National Assembly over oil price benchmark.
President Jonathan had pegged the benchmark at $74 per barrel in its MTEF document but the Joint Committee of the National Assembly after several weeks of disagreements; put the benchmark at $77.5 per barrel.