The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Friday urged the federal government to recruit additional 31,000 police officers annually over the next five years, to ensure effective policing across the country.
Mr. Idris said in a message to the graduation of constables at the Police College, Kaduna, that by providing additional 155,000 police officers over the next five years, Nigeria would meet the UN policing ratio of 1:400 persons.
“Currently the Nigeria Police Force is operating at a ratio of one to 600, which is far below the approved United Nations ratio.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the recruitment of 10, 000 police officers in 2016 to boost the working capacity of the force.
The government had earlier indicated its intention to recruit 10,000 police officers annually.
The police chief, who was represented by Maiagari Dikko, a deputy inspector general of police, charged the constables to be upright, shun all temptations and intimidation and work diligently to serve the country better.
“The protection of lives and property of the citizenry, enforcement of all laws and regulations and prevention of crime lie squarely on police.
“You will be confronted with a lot of challenges some friendly and others hostile.
“You may be faced with a situation where you are requested to bend the rules for either financial or material benefits.
“No matter what the promises are, you should not succumb to such demands.
“Ensure that your actions are in line with the extant rules and regulations and that which you can defend at all times.
“You may be victimised for sticking to the truth but be consoled in the fact that truth is constant and always prevail, no matter how long it may take.”
He stressed that the force has zero tolerance for corruption and would deal decisively with any officer found wanting.
The IGP added that the police would stick to its core duties in line with international values of policing with integrity and respect for the rule of law.
“We shall respect diversity, display courage, show compassion and demonstrate professionalism, and operate within the principles of democratic policing.
“We shall make Nigeria safer and secured and shun corruption.”
Mr. Idris also assured police officers of getting more opportunities for training and retraining to enhance their capacity for effective service delivery.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 7,560 general duty constables graduated from various police training institutions across the country.
A total of 1,195 constables graduated in Kaduna while three were dismissed over disciplinary issues.