According to SaharaReporters, there have been recommendations that the National Assembly, not the Presidency should handle the report of the Police Trust Fund (PTF) and that it should “be independent of the police and government bureaucracy”.
This was revealed in the assessment of the implementation of the PTF Act 2019 organised by the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), and Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN), in partnership with Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI).
This came from a roundtable meeting held in Abuja on June 29, 2021 to review the implementation and impact of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF) two years after it was signed into law by President Mukhmmadu Buhari and one year after the President constituted the Board of Trustees as required under the Act establishing the Trust Fund.
The Trustees also said Nigeria Police Force only has one functional helicopter.
According to the statement made available to SaharaReporters by RULAAC Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, on Thursday, the stakeholders at the meeting lamented the challenges of PTF which have hampered the efficiency of the Nigeria Police.
In the statement, the Trustees lamented that the Nigeria Police Force has just one functional helicopter as they declared that NPF needs more to combat worsening insecurity.
While enumerating current challenges facing the police, the statement said, “The previous Equipment Trust Fund set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and headed by Mr. Kenny Martins failed because it was buying things that the police did not need. There was no need assessment to determine the actual needs of the police.”
It also revealed, “Police have received zero funds from the PTF. The purpose of the PTF appears defeated two years after. The NPF currently has only one functional helicopter. One was gunned down during operation. The NPF needs armoured specialised helicopters.
“The sum of N38 million budgetary allocation for the police for operational vehicles for one year is grossly inadequate. The police need help from the PTF in the areas of equipment, infrastructure and training and retraining. The PTF should fulfil its mandate by filling the funding gap for the Nigeria Police to perform effectively.”
Among those who attended the roundtable were Hillary Ogbonna, representing the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (NHRC), Ms. Faith Nwadishi, the Executive Director, Koyenum Immalah Foundation (KIF) and Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, former Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).
While submitting ways to help the PTF, the summit further stated, “The PTF should be independent of the police and government bureaucracy. This is one lesson from the Lagos State Security Trust Fund.
“The Trustees should make all the decisions as in the case of the Lagos State security trust fund. Emphasis on the use of security trust fund is speed: to enter into gaps that normal funding cannot address and address quickly
“There is the need to look into the Act establishing the PTF, identify all the barriers and amend the Act as appropriate.
“The PTF should report to the National Assembly not to the President. The staff should not be civil servants seconded from different ministries. The PTF needs to collaborate with relevant stakeholders such as Civil Society and the Federal Inland Revenue. The PTF must become visible, engage and communicate what they are doing and their challenges.”