Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

Garbage In – Nigerian Police Force out!

Written by on . Published in Disaster for democracy on .

Easy evening; reading up on the requirements for one job I’ve been eyeing when I stray to Twitter (*sigh*) and see a link to an article by @BellaNaija titled, ‘N150 Daily Meal Allowance, 50 Recruits Sharing A Fish Head… More Sad Facts Emerge about the Nigerian Police College, Lagos‘.

Convinced that @BellaNaija is determined to be a gossip blog this year, I click on the link. What I see is an official news report by Channels TV on the appalling, shameful living conditions of trainee Police Officers.

This link is to the video off the official news report, shot at the Police Training College in IkejaLagos State, where the recruits are fed three N50 meals in a day, =N150.

A little perspective for you: about Christmas time the exchange rate was about one dollar to one hundred and sixty naira ($1 = N160), and one pound to between two hundred and fifty-eight and two hundred and sixty Naira (£1 = N258 or N253). So that’s our government, feeding it’s potential security force on literally less than a dollar a day! A little more perspective; here’s what the President and his Vice have budgeted for their meals in the same 2013. The picture below was gotten off Punch Newspaper.


 And the Police Boss in the video had no scruples with saying, ‘N150 a day, it is very meager’. No Sir, it’s not meager, it’s an absolute disgrace! It is the reason the Police Force is a joke!

Christmas 2012 I was driving to an event, and I got to a Police checkpoint. The man said, ‘Madam anything for your boys, make I take buy indomie’. Noodles? I was shamed, and I gave him N500. So it’s degenerated from asking for ‘money for the weekend’ to asking for money for indomie noodles?

How is that Police officer supposed to catch a thief? How won’t he subvert the law for the highest ‘indomie money giver’!!

Back to the video. How do we eat like mice and expect to poop like elephants? We grumble and cuss our Policemen for being below standard; after watching that video I’m even surprised we have Policemen at all!

The bit with the recruits huddled around the bucket where they were sharing fish brought tears to my eyes; was reminiscent of movies about slave trade. Sad. Very sad. Can I digress and say that if their training is as bad as their food (and what’s to say it’s not even worse) then we have the reason the Boko Haram insurgency hasn’t been quelled?

Decided to go beyond my ranting to see how much the Police Force gets from the Federal Budget. Massive respect to @BudgitNG for simplifying the budgets, and especially for the pictorial representation. Well done!

Take a look at the picture below:

The total sum allocated to the Police for 2013.

The total sum allocated to the Police for 2013 – N311, 148, 387, 312.

That figure is further broken into three categories, captured below as well:

Not much detail and I can't tell how much goes to the 6 Police Colleges from this.

Decided to look at the 2012 budget, it has a little more detail. The total budget was N308, 474, 241, 153, some 3 billion less than the budget for 2013. This is a link to download (and read) the budget for yourself Police Formation and Command Budget 2012.

Thing is, sadly I didn’t find exact figures, and that’s kind of taken the wind out of my sails. Maybe not completely though, because I’m sure we could shave off monies from the N147, 100, 544 going to computer software acquisition (no comment), N44, 544, 722, 278 each for allowances and ‘non-regular allowances (what’s a non-regular allowance), N180, 000, 000 allocated to ‘non-tangible’ assets, (amongst many other funny looking figures) to provide respectable meals for the men training to serve and protect our great country.

Otherwise, can I announce that they are being bred to be corrupt, ill-mannered, inefficient, ineffective; and will function only so it won’t be said that Nigeria doesn’t have a Police Force.

Otherwise, we can put in applications (and early too) for super heroes (Thor, Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, take your pick) because we’ll definitely be needing them.



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Chioma Agwuegbo Twitter: @chiomachukaChioma

Chioma is a graduate of Mass Communication from Ebonyi State University, in Nigeria and Social Media from Birmingham City University, in England. Her background is in radio, having worked as a reporter, duty continuity announcer and presenter for various radio stations before moving on to work as a researcher, scriptwriter and producer of radio drama for the BBC World Service Trust in Nigeria. A social media consultant, Chioma is intrigued by social media and how it affects/influences governance as well as its relationship with concepts of social capital, open data, and intelligent/big societies. She specializes in • Creating bespoke social media solutions for companies based on their product, location and target demographic. • Content development and production for radio and television programmes She has worked on projects with Chocolate City, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), Nigeria Dialogue, Shehu Musa Ya’Adua Center, with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), among others. A poet and contributor to various media (local and international) she tweets from @chiomachuka, is the Fairy GodSister on the blog, works at, and has a professional page here