Written by Olumuyiwa Adejobi
Health is said to be wealth and sound health, good pay and smooth insurance policies are the propellers of success in every organization. For a man to be productive at work, his health must be sound, his wages must be attractive and he must also be adequately insured in the event of unforeseen circumstances like severe injury or death.
Health and welfare programmes designed to promote the physical, mental and material well-being of police officers are among the visions and drives of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba since his assumption of office.
It is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that IGP Alkali has revitalized the Nigeria Police Force with his visionary leadership qualities in all ramifications including improved healthcare services to both retired and serving members of the Force and their families; enhanced welfare packages especially by ensuring the payment of 20% salary increment of police officers with effect from January 2022 as promised by the federal government of Nigeria, and the prompt payment of insurance claims to officers wounded in the line of duty as well as families of deceased police officers.
IGP Alkali has not only ensured prompt payment of officers’ emoluments, but has also fought and stopped tax deductions for Inspectors and Rank and Files effective from January 2022. He is equally working towards tax exemption for other senior officers. The stoppage of tax is to improve the welfare of police officers. This is one of the great feats achieved by IGP Alkali Baba’s administration.
Recall that on January 9, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR commissioned a state-of-the-art hospital in Damaturu, Yobe State capital built by IGP Alkali to enhance healthcare services to members of the Force and their families in Yobe State. The said hospital has been considered by medical experts to be one of the best and most equipped in modern-day Nigeria.
More so, sometime in 2022, the Nigeria Police begot another state-of-the-art medical facility at Utako in Abuja. IGP Alakali Baba influenced this massive project for the Police due to his quest for a better healthcare service delivery to members of the Force. Police medical facilities in all commands, formations, training Colleges and schools have no doubt undergone renovation and upgrade by the IGP and posterity will judge him kindly.
The IGP is also extending the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to retired police officers and their families to provide better healthcare under this scheme. This infers that IGP Alkali is not only caring and providing quality and appreciable services to serving members of the Force but also to retired officers who have served the nation in different capacities. This is the first time in the history of the Force that such a thing is happening.
In order to enable police officers to acquire properties with ease, IGP Alkali has reviewed the NPF Housing Policy to provide affordable housing units for police officers, especially the junior ranks. He reduced equity contributions to 5% for Inspectors, Rank & Files, and 10% for ASPs and above from 10% and 20% respectively. This policy will help police officers to own houses of their own without stress. It will further improve the condition of living during and after service.
The IGP is developing and constructing new police estates across the country under the Nigeria Police Cooperative Housing Scheme for allocation to members of the scheme.
Before IGP Alkali assumed office on April 6, 2021, so many police barracks and institutions have dilapidated. The structures were in bad shape but on resumption of office, the IGP took it upon himself to renovate all the police barracks and institutions in Nigeria and if you visit police barracks today you will attest to the fact that there are changes and everything is now in good shape.
IGP Alkali has equally rejigged Insurance policies for better service delivery. In 2021 the IGP approved the establishment and incorporation of the Nigeria Police Insurance Company (NPIC) to effectively manage the Police insurance policies and maximize the welfare interests of police personnel constantly being exposed to occupational hazards. This will guarantee seamless insurance services to officers as well as the general public
In May 2021 while flagging off a 3-day workshop for Police Insurance Desk Officers organized to develop the capacity of dedicated officers drawn from the 36 State Commands, the Federal Capital Territory, and other Police Formations across the country, IGP Alkali presented cheques to families of 40 deceased police officers, who lost their lives in the line of duty, amounting to One Hundred and Eighty-Three Million, Two Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty-Seven Naira, Thirty-Two Kobo (N183,295,327.32). Thursday 19th January 2023, the IGP flagged off the distribution o cheques to more than seven thousand (7,000) beneficiaries with more than 13 Billion naira at the IGP conference hall, Force Headquarters, Abuja. There is a continuous payment of insurance benefits to officers injured in the line of duty and families of deceased police officers.
The police boss has equally reintroduced and strengthened the NPF Scholarship Scheme for dependents of police officers, especially children of police officers killed in the line of duty. This scheme has been jettisoned for a long time but the coming into office by IGP Alkali saw a rebirth of the programme and it is getting stronger and better by the day.
Furthermore, he has successfully pursued and gained approval from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for the inclusion of relatives of Police Officers in the Farmer Moni, Trader Moni, and N-Power schemes.
The Police chief has likewise approved prompt payment of allowances for personnel on special duty. Prior to this approval, officers on special duty were not paid promptly, while in most cases were not denied outrightly but since the IGP gave this approval, payment of officers on special duty has been going on smoothly.
With IGP Alkali Baba holding the ace of the force, it has certainly been the dawn of a new era for officers and men of the Nigeria Police. As a visionary leader, every day Alkali Baba spends in office repositions the Force to be able to perform optimally in line with international best practices and in tandem with the ongoing reform agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the watch of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, the game changer and catalyst of anti-corruption crusade.
- CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi is the Police Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja. Email address: email@example.com