He said as much as community policing was a good option, “it can only work in Nigeria when the police is decentralised, because both community policing and decentralised policing function better together.”
The senator, who represents Enugu West, pointed out that returning to decentralised policing would go a long way in minimising the security challenges facing the country, recalling that security challenges escalated when decentralised policing was abolished.
“The police should be in charge of internal policing in the country, while soldiers are for external services. The practice in most countries operating a federal system of government is decentralised policing.
“Ideally, we should have a federal, state and local government police for effective policing. For checks and balances, in cases of abuse by some actors, a federal Police Service Commission (PSC) is recommended to regulate the activities of the different tiers of policing. So, until we decentralise our policing, we will not get it right, security-wise.
“Decentralised policing is also part of the restructuring many Nigerians have been clamouring for,” he said.
But experts have harped on the need for state and local governments to introduce security taxes to address the issue of police underfunding.
They made this call over the weekend in Abuja at a two-day workshop on media engagement on police funding and bail process organised by the Nigerian Police Programme (NPP).The Lagos State Intervention Lead, NPP, Tosin Osasona, argued that policing was a very expensive enterprise across the world, noting that the key to proper funding was how innovatively states could tax the growing informal sectors.
Stating that almost every police service across the world derives a percentage of its operational costs from grants and donations from businesses and foundations, Osasona argued that it was impracticable for states, in the face of acute underfunding of the police from the Federal Government, to hinge the functioning of the police services that is solely responsible for local security on donations.“Why can’t states be innovative?” he queried.