Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu (right); Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, Usman Kumo and member of the panel, Victor Nwokolo, during budget defence by the Ministry of Police Affairs at the National Assembly, Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO• Bicker over alleged harassment of minister
The House of Representatives is unhappy that the Nigeria Police was allocated a paltry N11 billion for protection of life and property in the polity.x
Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs, Mr. Bello Kumo, who spoke during the budget defence session by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, argued that the amount was grossly inadequate for the police to carry out their statutory responsibilities.
Kumo, who stressed the need for the authorities to take drastic measures on the issue, pledged to make additional budgetary provision for the capital component of the Nigeria Police in the 2021 budget.
He directed the IGP to submit an inventory of police stations destroyed as well as a comprehensive list of personnel killed during the recent #EndSARS protest across the country
so that adequate budgetary provision can be made for the police in the 2021 budget.
Kumo referred to the speedy manner President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Police Reform Act to underline his administration’s resolve to address the teething challenges bedeviling the police force. He said the House would amend obsolete laws impeding the performance of the police in the country.
In another development, the lawmakers, yesterday, bickered over alleged harassment of the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouk on the distribution of COVID 19 palliatives.
The bickering started after Mr. Fatuhu Mohammed (Daura: APC) accused members of the House Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of unnecessarily harassing Farouk even when she had lived up to expectations in the discharge of her duties.x
Mohammed said that the spate of looting of the COVID-19 palliatives in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest spoke volume of the fact that the minister ensured even distribution of the palliatives across the country.
But members of the Mohamed Jega-led Committee on IDP instantly took exception to the scathing remarks by Mohammed, retorting “no!!!, nobody is harassing her here. We are only doing our jobs. You have to withdraw your words, withdraw your words.”
The Daura-born lawmaker, thereafter, staged a walk out on the committee in defiance to Jega’s directive even as the minister who appeared before the committee to defend her ministry’s 2021 budget looked on.x
Jega (Kebbi PDP) insisted that it was incumbent on the committee to know the details of the way and manner the 2020 budget was implemented through the exercise of oversight function.
He, however, declined to endorse call by Abiante Awaji-Inombek Dogomie (Rivers: PDP) for the suspension of the budget consideration for the ministry pending when the details of the 2020 expenditure are made available.
Farouk, who sought approval of N4.038 billion allocated to her ministry in the 2021 budget, explained that N321,4 million or 58.29 per cent of total allocation for COVID-19 intervention was utilized this year.
She stated that food and non-food items received from the Nigeria Customs and Excise during the lockdown were distributed to target beneficiaries cutting across a wide range of vulnerable groups, including IDPs, in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).