By Hannah Nathan, Warri
The Federal Government has been asked by the House of Representatives to put every police barrack nationwide up for lease.
The Reps further requested that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) coordinate with the Ministries of Interior and Police Affairs to promptly determine the worth of all federally owned barracks nationwide and to declare a public offering for the same.
The House’s resolution came about as a result of the acceptance of a motion by Hon. Murphy Omoruyi regarding the urgent public necessity of addressing the appalling living conditions of Nigerian Police Force (NPF) officers.
He made the motion, recalling that the Police Reform Bill 2020 was enacted by the National Assembly in September 2020 and that it was signed into law on September 16, 2020, by the former president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated that improving the living conditions of the brave police officers in the country was one of its main concerns.
The senator pointed out that despite all prior attempts, the issue of providing police officers with decent housing still exists.Omoruyi emphasised that the federal government spent more than N5 billion on barracks improvements between 2019 and 2022. Despite this investment, she added, barracks are still unable to provide for basic requirements due to their current condition of neglect and deterioration.
The legislator emphasised that there had been vigorous national discussions and demands for more community-oriented policing tactics, and that having police officers live among civilians instead of in their remote barracks will greatly allay these demands and improve public safety.
Omoruyi underscored that keeping police and municipal law enforcement personnel in barracks was a remnant colonial custom that had been abandoned by the same colonialists back home.
He voiced concern over the state of filth that police officers and their families live in, which is typified by big wall fissures, bat infestations, leaky roofs, and run-down barracks all around the nation.
Omoruyi bemoaned the stigma attached to police corruption, arguing that it is inextricably linked to the dearth of services provided to them for welfare.
He claimed that because of their subpar working circumstances, the public no longer has faith or respect in the nation’s police.