Jumbo pay increase for Nigerian Police

No Comments » January 22nd, 2008 posted by // Categories: Nigeriawatch




Jumbo pay for police        

Good news! The Federal Government has raised the salaries of policemen in the country by as much as 100 per cent. Under the new pay regime, a constable who previously earned between N8, 000 and N10, 000 will now get between N22, 000 and N27, 000; a corporal now goes home with between N27, 000 and N28, 000, compared with the between N13, 000-N14, 000 that they used to earn. The same goes for a sergeant who hitherto earned a paltry N15, 000, he now smiles home with N31, 000.

For police inspectors, most of whom had spent over 25 years in the police force, the story is not different: they are now to receive between N50, 000 and N52, 000, up from N22, 000 that they earned until November last year. For the officers’ cadre, the salary of an assistant superintendent of police which was about N40, 000 has now been increased to between N80, 000 and N83, 000, depending on whether he is a one-star ASP or two-star ASP. A deputy superintendent of police now gets N90, 000 from the N45, 000 that he used to take home while a full superintendent who hitherto earned N 50, 000 now smiles home with N100,000 monthly. The increases exempted none.

This is about the first time in two decades that a meaningful review of salaries of policemen would be done in the country. We commend the President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration for this bold initiative which shows his commitment to improving the lot of the police. Without doubt, the men and women who have been saddled with the responsibility of protecting Nigerians deserve to be well motivated.

Indeed, the review has been long overdue. Although all jobs come with their individual risks, policemen are exposed to even greater risks by the very nature of their calling. Criminals are getting increasingly sophisticated by the day, especially in the area of arms and ammunitions. The country needs an equally sophisticated and rapid response police force to tackle their menace. Unfortunately, the police are a mismatch for the criminals who are getting more and more daring, due to a number of factors, chief of which is inadequate motivation for the officers and men.

With the new pay structure, there is a stronger basis for Nigerians to now demand from the police improved efficiency. As a matter of fact, some Nigerians are hopeful that the rate at which policemen extort the citizenry should go down drastically with this gesture by the government. Although there is always room for improvement, the government has demonstrated good faith by overhauling, as it were, the salaries of the police.

But it still must do more. There is the need for the government to continue to invest in modern and sophisticated communication and other gadgets that the police need to perform effectively.

But, beyond taking care of law enforcement officers, the government should also act fast to tackle the problem of unemployment, particularly graduate unemployment that is presently high. While the government should not relent in its efforts to continue to improve the lot of the police, it should be mindful that the band of criminals will be reduced when there is something worthwhile for as many people as possible to do.

But, whether the new pay will reduce the incidence of extortion by some unscrupulous policemen, a question being frequently asked by many Nigerians since the new pay was made public, is in the wombs of time.



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