The Nigeria Police Force's proposed budget has been reduced by nearly N93 billion by the Federal Government, which the security agency has warned could thwart its efforts to combat the nation's rising insecurity effectively.
The police urged the National Assembly to exempt the NPF from the government's envelope budgeting system, which was primarily to blame for the reduction.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, lamented the Budget Office of the Federation's reduction of the outfit's proposed budget from N889,681,595,517.74 to N796,785,034,379.56 and warned of its impact on the security outfit and its consequences for the nation in a presentation to the National Assembly.
FG reduced the proposed police budget by N92.9 billion in light of the unrest
As he defended the NPF's proposed budget in the 2023 Appropriations Bill on Tuesday, Baba informed the House of Representatives Committees and the Senate on Police Affairs of this.
Our correspondent saw the portions of his presentation to the lawmakers on Saturday. The Armed Forces defend the country's territorial integrity from external aggression. At the same time, the police are mandated to be in charge of internal security.
However, many security committees of the National Assembly and the Service Chief have voiced their displeasure with the military's involvement in internal affairs in nearly all 36 federated states.
For example, the House Committee on Defense Chairman Babajimi Benson stated on November 9, 2021, following a 2022 budget defense session with the Defense Space Administration, that the Armed Forces were carrying out their duties despite their limited resources.
"When there is kidnapping or banditry in Nigeria, everyone calls the Armed Forces." This is because our Armed Forces are taking on roles traditionally assigned to the police," he said.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence have received over N1.248 trillion in budgetary support. As a result, with N638,108,156,198, N174,423,669,604, and N158,790,615,183, respectively, the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, and Nigerian Navy will receive the largest share of the record military budget.
The IGP bemoans the reduction.
However, the IGP informed lawmakers that the police department's total minimum projection for the fiscal year 2023 was N889,681,595,517.74, which N92,896,561,138.18 reduced.
"However, the Budget Office of the Federation reviewed it to N796,785,034,379.56 under the envelope budgetary system," he said.N28,008,261,559.82 of the reviewed amount of N796,785,034,379.56 is for capital expenditure, N33,653,116,116 is for overhead cost, and the remaining N735,123,656,703.74 is for personnel cost.
"The overhead cost estimate computed using the envelope budgetary system is grossly insufficient to meet the force's operational, logistics, and administrative requirements in 2023," Baba said.
"The Joint Committees on Police Affairs should humbly note, for example, that the force currently has a fleet of 1,520 motorcycles and 13,935 vehicles across the country to appreciate this challenge."
The annual minimum cost implications for fueling these patrol assets to maintain minimal patrol operations are N34,099,946,150.00. Similarly, the force's fleet of operational vehicles and motorcycles has a monthly minimum maintenance cost of N8,258,580,000.
"According to the above calculation, the total sum of N33,653,116,116.00 projected in the 2023 budget in the overhead cost for police formations, the 36 state commands, and the FCT in the overhead cost for police operational vehicles/motorcycles is not even enough to provide minimal fueling and maintenance cost for police operational motorcycles/vehicles for seven months."
This is in addition to other critical subheads covered by the same subhead, such as local travel and transportation allowances, international and local training costs, building maintenance (offices and barracks), aircraft, marine boats, nationwide detainee feeding, and uniform and accouterment provision."
Arms and intelligence are affected.
The police chief also criticized the N35,705,675,512 NPF capital expenditure allocation for 2023.
"This figure is also grossly insufficient to meet the force's capital cost for acquiring critical operational assets such as patrol vehicles, arms and ammunition, aircraft, intelligence/surveillance equipment, and infrastructure items to meet our policing mandate optimally," Baba said.
The IGP identified three critical challenges police have faced over the years: insufficient budgetary appropriation "that does not support the force's optimal service delivery and police modernization and reform plan."
While there has been a steady improvement in recent years, particularly in terms of overhead costs, "capital allocation has continued to dwindle," according to Baba.
The police chief also brought up the envelope budgeting system of the federal government, which "provides the Nigeria Police with a funding ceiling without taking into account the force's omnibus and complex mandate, as well as the scope and severity of the internal security realities that the force is committed to contending with as the lead internal security agency."
Baba also criticized the delayed release of appropriated funds, saying that it interfered with institutional planning, operational readiness, and budget execution.