Disquiet as Nigerian police authorities pocket six months’ salary arrears of personnel

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Some policemen across the country have expressed their displeasure over how the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force refused to pay up the six months’ arrears of the new salary structure approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the force since 2021. Speaking with Easterner on Friday, some of them revealed that the newly approved police salary structure which its implementation supposed to have commenced in January 2022 only started in July 2021 with only one month arrears of payment.

One of the sources decried that the federal government had released the money for the six months’ arrears but the leadership of the police starting with the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had refused to pay it to personnel and could continue to delay the payment even as the country moves into general elections next year.

One of the sources said, “The president last year approved the new salary structure of the Nigerian police which was supposed to start with implementation as from January 2022.”

“Unfortunately” he said, “the implementation started July and arrears were only paid for just that month alone, meaning from January to June salary arrears wouldn’t be paid because till date we have not been paid the arrears.”

Another source also confirmed that the government had disbursed the money to the police but the authorities refused to give the personnel’s due entitlements to them for selfish reasons.

“All of us have not been paid the arrears of the new salary structure. Also, whenever the police personnel are promoted to the next rank, they are entitled to promotion arrears /allowance, but this present police administration had stopped the payment and they have been pocketing our entitlements.”

According to the source, that was part of the reasons while there was low morale in crime fighting and a lot of police extortion being reported every day because “those policemen have family to feed and they need money to feed them. If the authorities refuse to pay them, they use other available means to solve their problems including extortion from motorists and criminal suspects’ families.”

“Now promotion does not come as and when due. It now comes after years and it will be backdated to enable you not to be paid,” the source further lamented.

He added that such impunity from the police leadership also encouraged waywardness and lawlessness from the personnel.

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