Nigeria Police Housing Scheme: IGP Egbetokun’s Vision

By Adewole Kehinde

“A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul” Phillip Moffitt

A good living condition is important for optimal service delivery, as housing is a fundamental physiological human need and the foundation for developing higher human motivation.

As the name implies, housing barracks are intended to address the housing needs of military and paramilitary institutions. Unfortunately, for the many men and women of the Nigeria Police Force, these housing barracks do not offer a decent space to live and could be hurting the inhabitants.

I recall that the National Assembly passed the Police Reform Bill 2020, which was signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on September 16, 2020.

The core issue of the Act was to address the living conditions of the nation’s gallant police officers.

The Nigeria Police Housing Scheme is a government initiative aimed at providing decent and affordable housing for members of the Nigeria Police Force.

The scheme is designed to address the housing needs of police officers and improve their living conditions. It typically involves the construction of housing units or estates specifically for police officers and their families.

The goal is to ensure that police personnel have access to safe and comfortable housing, which in turn can help improve their overall well-being and effectiveness in carrying out their duties.

As of today, the Police Housing Scheme is faced with decaying infrastructure, a negative maintenance culture, years of neglect due to poor budgetary allocation, and the destruction of police facilities resulting from the EndSARS protests, banditry, and Boko Haram/IPOB activities.

According to a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is facing a gross housing deficit as less than 10 percent of its personnel in barracks have proper accommodation.

Without a dignified place to live combined with poor and inadequate wages as well as poor working conditions in police stations, it’s not hard to see how all of this could affect the physical and mental health of officers and lead them to unsavoury practices of corruption and even a lack of empathy for the citizens they are trained to protect.

Police officers and their families lived in squalor, characterised by large cracks in the wall, bat-infested houses, and leaking roofs, among others.

Between 2019 and 2022, more than N5 billion was spent by the Federal Government on the renovation of barracks, yet all efforts made to rehabilitate the barracks failed.

The deplorable living conditions of the police officers had dampened their morale and productivity.

The deplorable living conditions of the police officers had dampened their morale and productivity, hence the initiative of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to convene a maiden summit focused on addressing the critical challenges of police housing in the country.

According to the Force PRO, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the summit is scheduled to take place at the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre, Abuja, on the 22nd and 23rd of April, 2024.

According to the statement, recognising the urgent need to elevate the standard of living for officers and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector-General of Police has taken proactive steps to initiate this summit with the primary objective of exploring avenues for providing accessible and affordable housing solutions for all members of the Force.

The summit will serve as a pivotal platform for stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue and brainstorm innovative strategies to actualize the IGP’s vision of delivering effective and efficient housing, thereby enhancing the welfare of the Force’s personnel.

The Inspector-General of Police emphasizes that the summit is geared towards ensuring adequate housing for all officers and men, which is paramount to fostering their well-being and enhancing overall operational effectiveness. He reiterates that the summit represents a pivotal opportunity for the force to collectively chart a course towards sustainable housing solutions to boost dignity and self-esteem.

Ensuring adequate housing for Nigeria police personnel is an important aspect of their well-being and overall effectiveness in carrying out their duties.

The government should prioritise investment in building and maintaining housing facilities for police personnel. This could involve allocating a specific budget for this purpose and ensuring that funds are used efficiently.

There is also a need for collaboration with private developers that can help in the construction of affordable housing units for police personnel. This can also help speed up the process of providing adequate housing.

The safety and security of police personnel should be a top priority when designing and constructing housing facilities. Measures such as secure fencing, lighting, and CCTV cameras can help create a safe living environment.

It is also crucial to ensure that the housing facilities are equipped with basic amenities such as water, electricity, and sanitation facilities. Adequate infrastructure is essential for creating a conducive living environment for police personnel.

Regular maintenance of housing facilities is essential to ensure that they remain in good condition. This can help prolong the buildings’ lifespan and ensure the residents’ comfort.

On a final note, there is a need to establish a feedback mechanism where police personnel can report any issues or concerns related to their housing, as this will help in addressing problems promptly.

By implementing these steps, it is possible to improve the quality of housing for Nigeria police personnel and ensure that they have a comfortable and safe living environment.

 

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846. E-mail: kennyadewole@gmail.com