From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim has advised the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to do everything within his powers to provide decent and affordable shelter for personnel of the force .
He counseled that the ongoing housing projects for policemen in different parts of the country should be adequately funded and completed, stressing that the measure would boost the morale of policemen during active service and while in retirement and reduce corruption in the force.
The senator spoke against the backdrop of reports that the Post -Service Housing Scheme of the Nigeria Police Force was on the verge of being abandoned due to poor funding. One of the schemes situated in Lagos and executed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, is said to have been grounded following the inability of the Police to meet their N6.6 billion counterpart funding obligation.
Idris had, last week, commissioned the first phase of the project comprising 500 units of three-bedroom flats known as Police Estate in Lagos . The second phase which is expected to deliver over a thousand bungalows, however, has been stalled.
Decrying the lack of decent houses for police personnel, the Senate Police Committee boss identified inadequate accommodation for the force’s personnel across Nigeria as a major hindrance to effective policing.
His words: “The welfare of police personnel should always be taken seriously. Part of the welfare is housing and accommodation. We can only get the police to do their work effectively when it is well funded and policemen have better welfare schemes that guarantee them decent homes after they leave the service.”
According to Ibrahim, the need for proper funding of the police was the reason the upper chamber of the National Assembly initiated a Bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria Police Development Fund. He expressed optimism that the enactment of the bill would encourage the police to put in their best in the service of the country.
On the commissioning of the Estate by the IG, Ibrahim hailed the unveiling and commissioning of the bungalows known as “Muhammadu Buhari Estate, Mawo, Lagos.
Mrs. Funke Adesoji, Managing Director, Remax Realtors, who handled the project, was reported to have expressed her commitment to deliver the remaining housing units and craved the continued support of the Inspector General of Police to ensure that the housing units are delivered during his tenure as IGP.