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Rights groups task FG on Police Trust Fund implementation

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

A consortium of human rights organisations, HURILAWS, Liberty Now and NOSAD have appealed to the federal government to ensure the workability of the Police Trust Fund which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2019, saying, the Trust Fund, if properly managed, would finance necessary expenditures of the Police Force, including comprehensive retraining and reforms.

Mr Nneonyi Ofem, NOSAD Executive Director, and his counterpart in Liberty Now, Barr Innih Archibong, coinducting a press conference, in Calabar, weekend, reasoned that with the President constituting the Board of the Trust Fund and the National Assembly approving a budget of N74,773,601,916.30 for the fund, the coast was clear for the repositioning of the Nigerian Police for effective service delivery.

In a press statement signed by the duo, the consortium said, “The cardinal purpose of the Trust Fund is to provide money for the training and welfare of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force. Of the amount appropriated, N988,279,006.05 is estimated for personnel cost, N10,027,610,310.25 for overhead expenditure and N63, 757,712,600.00 as capital expenditures.

“The consortium demands that a healthy balance be created from the outset and throughout the lifespan of the fund between personnel training cost and capital costs. For a long time, the welfare of officers and men of the Police force has been thrown to the dogs.

“The Fund must seize this chance to make a real and visible change in the well-being and belief system of the policeman on the streets. The Fund must not be an opportunity to indulge in the creation of bogus while elephants.

“We call on the Board of the Trust Fund to ensure the funds appropriated by the National Assembly, and other funds available to it, are employed to address the forward-looking provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act,” the statement stated.

The consortium listed source of funding of the Police Trust Fund to include 0.5 percent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account; a levy of 0.005 percent of the net profit of companies operating a business in Nigeria amongst others, and noted that with the monies so appropriated, Nigerians do not expect the Board of the Trust Fund to make excuses.

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