The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, raised the alarm on Tuesday that a possible major crisis might be looming in the Force if the Federal Government did not reverse its decision to cut the personnel budget of officers and men in the 2014 budget.
Abubakar had appeared before the House Committee on Police Affairs to defend the budget of the police, but the session turned into lamentation over the challenging work conditions of policemen in the country.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Usman Kurmo, confirmed the IG’s worries when he said the salary cut was about N13bn.
“As a committee, we have done a calculation on what the IG is saying; the money is about N13bn. That is the much that was reduced in the personnel cost of the police force in the budget”, he stated.
Kurmo said as of 2013, the personnel cost of the police was N293.5bn, but added that it went down to N279bn in the 2014 budget.
He noted that the slash was surprising since there were no large-scale retrenchment or retirement by the police in the last one year that could lead to a reduction of N13bn from their salary budget.
Continuing, the IG appealed to the committee to look into the matter urgently by resolving it before it would begin to affect the salaries and allowances of men and officers of the force.
Abubakar said, “Mr. Chairman, this is a serious shortfall. Very soon, it means that we will not be able to pay salaries.
“I urge the committee to address this in order to avoid a likely crisis; this has to do with the welfare of our personnel.”
Kurmo said he had already discussed the matter with the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu, who assured him that the issue would be sorted out.