The Nigerian Police has severally been described as the worst paid in the world. Their low salaries coupled with poor retirement and welfare packages such as health and housing has contributed to making them one of the most corrupt groups in the country. This is also considering the fact that their salaries have been mishandled several times with news of hoarding and stealing of policemen salaries occasionally filling our news pages.
The worst hit are those at the lowest hierarchy in the Police, usually the constables. It therefore comes as a relief that the Acting Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has advocated a N50, 000 minimum wage for a constable in the police force.
The acting IG, who was on his first official visit to Lagos State on Monday, said he had already made proposal to the Federal Government and is making a “serious representation” for the actualization of the new salary structure for the police. He said it will go a long way to boost morale and promote efficiency.
He said apart from salary, other welfare packages like housing, training, mortgage policy and efficient cooperative society was being restructured to make sure that every policeman benefitted.
“We have started with the 500 housing unit in Abuja. The Rank and File will benefit from the housing policy first because they are the men on the field during the rain and the sun. I will pay attention to the Rank and File.”
Abubakar warned his men to henceforth stop any form of harassment of journalists and other Nigerians, saying if reports were made, culprits would face the law.
Similarly in February this year, the Police Re-organisation Committee recommended an upward review of the salary structure of the Nigeria Police Force in addition to the need for its total overhaul.
Mr. Parry Osayande, Chairman of the committee noted that Policemen in Nigeria were the worst paid in the whole of the West African sub-region.
“So, we are going to do a major overhaul; if we may use medical parlance, a complete dialysis of the force. Then, we will now take their welfare into consideration. They are underpaid, the worst paid in West Africa, then we shall lay emphasis on their training and retraining.
“That means, all the police institutions will be refurbished, if need be, we build more in all the geo-political zones,” Osayande said.
The last time Police salaries was reviewed was in 2008. A Police constable’s salary went up from N10,000, to between N22,000 and N27,000 depending on his length of service and accommodation plan. While a sergeant’s pay went up from N15,000 to about N30,000. And from a pay slip of about N22,000, a Police inspector now earns at least N50,000 monthly.
It is hoped that these words would be followed by actions and implementation of the said recommendations. Innocent citizens are tired of being harassed by these policemen in exchange for bribes and unwarranted payments. Hopefully, if they are better paid, they would focus more on fighting crime in the society than greedily filling their pockets.
So, what do you think about the recommendation of the Acting Inspector General of Police? Is N50,000 minimum wage fair enough for constables?
News Source: Punch