Nigeria has 370,000 police officers ….to recruit 280,000
The Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade made this known in Abuja on Tuesday, where he put the number of the serving police officers in the country at 370,000.
Nigeria is a country with 170 million people.
He stated that there were plans to increase the number of police officers to 650,000, adding that 90 per cent of the new recruits will be trained in modern policing tactics and weapons handling.
According to the Minister, the move is aimed at reforming the police and making it more responsive to meet the prevailing security challenges facing the country.
Mr Olubolade revealed that about 1,110 policemen have been trained in counter-terrorism and rapid response programme, basic intelligence course, patrol duties and operation course, adding that modern digital trunking communication network and equipment for tracking kidnappers and other criminals had been acquired for the police.
The police officers will also be taking courses on traffic management, train-the-trainer, intelligence lead surveillance, curriculum development and effective leadership in public protection, intervention, mobilisation and sensitisation training.
The Minister also stated that, the federal government has provided about nine Bell helicopters for the police as well as some quantity of arms and ammunition including various types of Armoured Personnel carriers and body protection armour which includes bullet proof vests.
The minister stated that the police received fund from the Education Trust Fund for implementation of various projects at the Police Academy, Kano to the tune of N580m.
Giving an overview report on the performance of the force in 2011, Mr Olubolade stated that the police recorded 879 robbery cases and 366 kidnappings in the year while 1,609 suspects were arrested and 766 firearms and 31, 175 ammunition recovered from the suspects.
Noting that the insurgency raged by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram is predominant in the northern states of the country, the Minister stated that “118 Boko Haram attacks were reported in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Niger, Yobe, Plateau states and the FCT where 308 victims lost their lives and 33 suspects arrested.”