By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Christiana Ekpa
The Senate yesterday took a step towards creating a Police Trust Fund (PTF) totaling N540 billion annually, as a measure to boost the capacity of the force in tackling the rising spate of insecurity across the country.
This was sequel to a bill sponsored to that effect by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South), which passed for second reading.
Senator Abu Ibrahim in the bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigeria Police Development Fund and other related matters 2017”, explained in his lead debate that the N540billion special development fund would be drawn from 0.5 % deduction from total revenues accruing into the federation account on yearly basis, 5% on total revenue on company income tax and 30% of Cyber Security Fund.
He said based on the 2017 financial projections, 0.5% of the N7.4 trillion revenue profile of the federal government would fetch the fund N370billion, 5% of estimated N1trillion Company income tax would fetch it N50billion while 30% of the estimated N400billion Cyber Security Fund would fetch the fund N120billion totaling N540billion.
Abu Ibrahim maintained that the annual Special Development Fund for the Police was very necessary if the outfit is expected to effectively rise up to prevailing challenges of insecurity arising from high rate crimes in the country.
Using the 2017 budget estimates for the Police as example, he lamented that while the Force requires N14.5 billion annually to provide adequate and appropriate items of kits for its personnel, only N752. 298million was earmarked for that purpose as it was with virtually other items in the budgetary allocations for the crime fighting outfit.
He therefore declared that the major objective of the fund was to enhance the security service delivery of the Nigeria Police Force.
Virtually all the senators who contributed to debate on the bill supported it for second reading passage.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his remarks after passing it for second reading commended the efforts being made by the committee to ensure adequate funding for the Police.
Therefore, he referred he bill to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs for further legislative inputs within the next four weeks.