The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr Mike Okiro, on Thursday, said Nigeria currently has a deficit of 19,500 policemen.
He said the recruitment of 10,000 policemen promised by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, would not commence immediately because there are guidelines and procedures to be followed for such an exercise to take place.
He made this known while speaking with State House correspondents after members of the commission and officials of the Ministry of Police Affairs briefed the president of their activities inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He noted that out of over 21,000 policemen who left the service as a result of death, retirement or dismissal, only 1,500 had been replaced.
This development, he said, had left a huge deficit that was currently affecting the operations of the Nigeria Police.
He said, “Over the years, more than 21,000 police officers have retired, some dismissed, some died between 2010 and today.
“Of this number, only about 1,500 have been replaced, leaving a deficit of a very large number.
“So we discussed this with Mr President. Of course, you are aware that a few days ago, Mr President said the police is going to embark on recruitment of 10,000 people.
“We discussed with him on modalities and how to ensure that the 10,000 people are recruited to maintain the security of Nigeria”.
When asked how soon the recruitment will commence, the former IGP said infrastructure had to be put in place before the exercise could be carried out.
He cited an example of the police training equipment, most of which he said had become obsolete.
He said while some of them had to be replaced, some others had to be renovated first before recruitment.
“There will be procedures and guidelines before recruitment takes place. So when all these things have taken place, the ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed, recruitment will start”, Okiro said.
He added that President Buhari assured him and his team that the police would be encouraged by being well-funded and well-equipped within the provisions of the budget to make sure Nigerians are provided with adequate security.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Mr. James Obiegbu, said during the briefing, Buhari insisted that he was interested in the welfare of policemen.
Mr. Obiegbu quoted the president as promising that he would continue to support the police family to ensure that they were well provided for and their welfare taken care of.