The Federal Government has commissioned the first batch of 363 vehicles out of the 2, 564 operational vehicles to be procured for the Nigeria Police Force, with a charge on effective policing.
The President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan performed the inauguration ceremony on Sunday, at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
President Jonathan, who was represented by his deputy, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said, “The procurement of these vehicles is aimed at boosting the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force to deliver effectively and efficiently in that direction.
“It is my hope that the Nigeria Police Force will reciprocate this gesture of government by supporting the INEC and other actors in ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections this month. Beyond this, it is also expected that the deployment of these operational vehicles will translate to enhanced surveillance of our communities in order to improve citizen safety and security,” he also added.
Dr. Jonathan noted that the Federal Government was the only tier of Government directly funding the Reform Programme of the Nigeria Police, estimated to cost N1.5 trillion over a period of six years, revealing that government had appropriated about N125 billion on the implementation of the Reform Programme from 2010 to 2013.
He commend the officers and men of the Police force for their selfless service and determination to rid the country of crime and criminality, while also condoling the families of personnel that died in the course of service to their fatherland, reiterating his determination to bequeath to the country a world class police force, that was well equipped, highly professional and people-oriented.
“I am fully aware of what you are going through, and I commiserate with you and offer my profound condolences to the entire family members of the deceased Officers. I appreciate, commend and salute your courage, patriotism and selfless service to our dear Country.”
As the 2015 general election draws near, the President further stressed the need for peaceful conduct during and after the elections, saying “Let us prove the pundits wrong, let us refrain from doing or saying whatever is likely to divide us. We should abhor and condemn all forms of violence. The year 2015 is already here; it shall pass away, but Nigeria and Nigerians shall remain indivisible as one Nation and one People.”
In his remark the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, said the procurement of the vehicles was the single largest by any government in Nigeria, reeling out other positive impact of the Transformation Agenda to include the upgrading of the Police Academy in Wudil, Kano State to a degree awarding institution, capacity building of over 65,000 personnel, procurement of the state of the art equipment to tackle crime and criminality, as well as the construction of a hanger and the delivery of helicopters and an aircraft, among several others.
Speaking, the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Suleiman Abba, expressed gratitude to President Jonathan and Vice President Sambo, on their commitment to the Nigeria Police Reform Programme. He pledge the dedication of the police to deliver on its constitutional mandate of effective policing.
He said the occasion was to commission 170 hard body patrol pick up,vans, 129, double cabin patrol vehicles, 50 four wheel drives, as well as 10 double cabin armoured patrol vans, including four 4X4 state of the art armoured personnel carriers. He emphasized that the procurement was being undertaken by an indigenous company in line with government policy.
IGP Abba stressed that the delivery of the vehicles would further boost the preparedness of the police in providing adequate security during the forthcoming elections, while also calling on other tiers of government and stakeholders to join hands with the Federal Government to raise adequate fund for the police.
Present at the event was the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Retired IGP Sir Mike Okiro, also present were top government functionaries and police officers and several other officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force.
FOR: UMAR SANI ( SSA MEDIA AND PUBLICITY TO THE VICE PRESIDENT)