Grumbling in police as FG fails to implement salary increase
The Federal Government has failed to implement the new enhanced salary structure for police officers.
This is coming 19 months after the President, Major General, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), approved a pay rise for them.
Checks indicated that police officers were still being paid their old salaries and allowances.
The President in November 2018 approved an enhanced salary structure for the force.
By the approval of their Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, salaries, allowances and pensions were expected to be increased, though the percentage of the increment was not disclosed.
Buhari had also assured that his administration would continue to give attention to their welfare and operational needs with a view to restoring their lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.
“I am pleased to make the increase in salaries and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system,” Buhari told the Police Service Commission and the police hierarchy.
The announcement was greeted with excitement by officers and Nigerians who believed the development would boost the morale of the force.
However, policemen who spoke said the new salary structure had not been implemented, describing the delay as “disappointing and demoralising”.
An Assistant Commissioner of Police confirmed that they had yet to receive the new salary despite rising inflation and the depreciating value of the naira.
Speaking on condition of anonymity on Friday, the ACP said, “To say we are disappointed over the delay in the implementation is an understatement. If the President approved a policy that would affect a critical security organisation like the police, the implementation of such a decision should not take over one year.
it is either the government is not committed to police welfare or the reported approval was just a political gimmick.”
An Assistant Superintendent of Police also said the pay rise had not been effected.
“I am still being paid N130,000 as an ASP; there has been no increase in salary and allowance as announced by the President in 2018. Other security agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Department of State Services and even the military earn more than us,” he added.
The officers also complained that they were not paid special allowances for the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown which they said were being enjoyed by other agencies.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation, Ibuchukwu Ezike, said the delay in payment of the new salary could affect the officers.
He said, “The announcement has caused an increase in the prices of goods and services which are now questioning the empty pockets of these officers. We appeal to the Federal Government to reconsider the delayed salary increase and ensure that their promise which was announced to the public about two years ago is fulfilled without further delay.”
A retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Adedayo Adeoye, observed that the current economic situation might affect payment of the new salary, noting, however, that the implementation of the pay rise would encourage the police to perform better.
He said, “The police are on the streets performing their duty despite the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus. So, I would urge those responsible for the implementation of the new salary scale to expedite action as soon as possible.”
A retired Commissioner of Police and ex-Force Headquarters spokesman, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said he was saddened by the development.