The Joint Police Affairs Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday approved N11 billion as capital budget for the Nigerian Police Trust Fund for the year 2020.

The capital component of the 2020 budget was extended to March 31, 2021 by the National Assembly before they embarked on the Christmas break and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Haliru Dauda Fika said the approved estimate will expire along ide the capital component of the 2020 budget.

Speaking after passing the capital budget for the fund, Fika said it was the first time the Police Trust Fund was bringing its budget before the Assembly since the law establishing it was signed into law by the President.

He said “Sometimes in 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Police Trust Fund bill into law and since then subsequently the Board was inaugurated. For about 10 months, there was no activity. So this is the first budget they brought following the approval of the National Assembly to extend the capital aspect of the budget.

“So the same thing is applicable to the Police Trust Fund, we are approving only the capital aspect of the budget up to 31st of March, 2021 when we are expecting the 2021 estimate of the Trust Fund to come before both chambers of the National Assembly.

You may recall that the source of funding of the Trust Fund is 0.5% of the revenue accruable to the Federation Account and other levies from companies doing business in Nigeria, that’s the source of the fund, so it’s not the statutory allocation, it’s deduction from the revenue.”

Senator Fika assured that the joint Committee on Senate and House of Representatives on Police Affairs will carry out its oversight function on the Fund with the view to ensure proper implementation of the N11 billion that was approved for capital expenditure.

Also Speaking, Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs, Hon. Usman Bello Kumo (APC-Gombe) said there was the need for the management team of Nigerian Police Trust Fund to ensure judicious use of the resources.

“My expectation from the Trust Fund is to enhance the quality of the Police by observing the global best practices. All over the world government alone cannot fund police you need the private sector.

“You need the other components of the country to come together to provide security for the citizens, it’s a good and kudos should be given to the government of the day.

“Our prayer is those that are saddled with the responsibility to man the resources should be God fearing, should be balance, and ensure that our police are well-trained, well-equipped. They should have training and retraining so that they will be in tandem with their sister-agencies outside the country.”

Executive Secretary Nigerian Police Trust Fund, Hon. Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto said the Board’s commitment towards ensuring adequate provision of state of art equipment, training and retraining of the Nigerian Police personnel in line with its mandates.

“Out N11 billion budget estimates captured all the c ore mandates of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund, which is training and retraining of personnel of the Nigerian Police Force; provision of the state of the art equipment, that is the latest equipment and for enhancement of skills of the Nigerian Police Force as well as to improve the general welfare of the Force.”

On the need to improve the strength of the Nigerian Police, he said: “As I’ve said earlier, the police trust fund is envisioned to be well-equipped, well-funded, highly motivated, that is why we want to ensure that we have the best police officers in our country in line with international global standard.”