The Police Service Commission, PSC, said that more than 150,000 police officers were attached to VIP’s and unauthorised persons in the country.
Nigeria currently has about 400,000 police officers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 directed that police personnel attached to unauthorised persons and VIPs in the country be withdrawn and deployed to confront the security challenges in the nation.
The Chairman of the commission, Mike Okiro made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday, in Abuja.
“We cannot afford to have more than half of the population of the Police in private hands,” he said.
He said that the commission in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Force, had commenced the implementation of the withdrawal of police officers, but the exercise was stalled due to lack of fund.
“We could not sustain the enforcement of the order on the withdrawal of policemen attached to unqualified persons in the country because of lack of fund.
He expressed disappointment at the practice where persons who served as ministers for over 10 to 15 years still go about with police security.
Mr. Okiro said that the nation cannot be battling with shortage of manpower in the force while majority of these officers would be in the service of few privileged Nigerians.
The chairman said that that the number of police officers in the country was inadequate for the population, hence the request for the recruitment of more policemen.
He said that issue of paucity of fund had been one of the problems hindering the recruitment of more policemen for enhanced service delivery.
“The Nigeria police Force is underfunded and not only in the area of manpower.
“The issue of funding is very strategic to the Nigeria Police Force. If you want to police Nigeria as it should be, the entire budget of Nigeria cannot be enough for that,” he said.
The chairman said that the Police Trust Fund bill before the National Assembly if passed into law would go a long way to address the issue of funding for the police.