THE government is to recruit 280,000 police officers, Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade (retd.), has said.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Olubolade, who put the number of the country’s serving police officers at 370,000, said there were plans to increase it to 650,000.
He said while 90 per cent of the policemen would be trained in modern policing tactics and weapons handling.
According to the minister, the move is aimed at reforming the police and making it more responsive to meet the security challenges facing the country.
He said modern digital trunking communication network and equipment for tracking kidnappers and other criminals had been acquired for the police.
Olubolade said about 1110 policemen had been trained in counter-terrorism and rapid response programme, basic intelligence course, patrol duties and operation course.
Others are traffic management course, train-the-trainer, intelligence lead surveillance course curriculum development and effective leadership in public protection, intervention, mobilisation and sensitisation training.
According to him, the government has provided about nine Bell helicopters for the police as well as some quantity of arms and ammunitions including various types of Amoured Personnel carriers and body protection armour (Bullet proof vests).
The minister stated that the police received fund from the Education Trust Fund for implementation of various projects at the Police Academy, Kano to the tune of N580m.
Olubolade stated that in 2011, the police recorded 879 robbery cases and 366 kidnappings while 1,609 suspects were arrested and 766 firearms and 31, 175 ammunition recovered from the suspects.
He said, "Boko Haram insurgence is predominant in the northern states of the country; 118 Boko Haram attacks were reported in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Niger, Yobe , Plateau States and the FCT where 308 victims lost their lives and 33 suspects arrested."