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Suleiman Abbah (in white) with senior police officers during the visit to some police barracks in Lagos.
By Evelyn Usman
Plans have been concluded to demolish all dilapidated structures in Police barracks across the country to avoid imminent collapse and be replaced with structures suitable for habitation for policemen and their families.
This was disclosed, weekend, by Chairman, Nigeria Police Trust Fund, NPTF, Suleiman Abba, during his visit to Ijeh Barracks, Obalende, MOPOL 20 Barracks and the Police College, Ikeja.
A shocked Abba, who was accompanied by some serving senior police officers including the Lagos State Police Command boss, CP Hakeem Odumosu, were greeted with sorry states of the barracks.
Some of the houses, which served as accommodation for both officers and rank and file, were in distress, with almost all the roofs leaking.
Abba, a former Inspector General of Police, noted that policemen were daily confronted with armed robbers and other criminal elements nationwide.
He added that the officers deserved to have better welfare in terms of shelter, logistics, training and retraining, in order to serve the country better.
Decrying previous years of neglect of Police facilities, he disclosed that the Police Trust Fund inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari, would address the situation.
Abbah said: “What I’m seeing today is a dilapidated barracks. If not that I don’t have where to put them (policemen and their families)today, I would have relocated them and brought down one or two of the buildings, then rebuild them to a habitable status.
“President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has deemed it fit to unprecedentedly initiate the Trust Fund to improve and place the Nigeria Police ahead of her global counterparts.
“This is especially true in the areas of trainings, welfare, logistics and a host of others, for a more efficient security service in the country.
“We are going to demolish dilapidated barracks and renovate those that are still good to human habitable status, with the provision of modern toilets, flowing water, safe roofs where water will no longer leak into rooms as well as safe electricity. That is what policemen deserve.”
He was quick to warn contractors nursing the intention of absconding with funds meant for implementing the projects to desist from such, threatening that NPTF under his watch would ensure they were arrested and brought to book.
He said: “This time around, the government will deal with any defaulting contractor and send him to the appropriate place.
“That is after we must have recovered our money. The warning is necessary as it is common knowledge for contractors to abandon projects after being mobilised with funds.”
He revealed that more attention would be given to training and retraining of police personnel, which he said was one of the three main objectives of the Trust Fund.
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Source: Vanguard News.