In a morale-boosting effort, Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a new welfare package, including a 20 per cent increase in allowances, for personnel of the Nigeria Police. Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, disclosed this in Abuja while speaking to newsmen at the end of the weekly virtual FEC meeting at the State House, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dingyadi said the increments would take effect from January 2022.
Other packages announced by the federal government included tax waiver for junior officers with effect from October 2021 and payment of outstanding funds for uninsured personnel between 2013 and 2020.
Dingyadi said FEC also approved a review and upgrading of the take home pay of police personnel in Nigeria.
The pay rise came amid awful revelations and controversies in the wake of the reports and recommendations of the #EndSARS panels set up by state governments to probe the protests, which rocked the country last year.
Dingyadi recalled that in October 2020, Nigeria was rocked by #EndSARS protests and Mr. President addressed the country and appealed for calm. He said the president also promised a review of the remunerations of police officers to enhance their take home pay in recognition of the services they rendered to the country in terms of maintenance of peace and order.
The minister explained, “We have tried to create a situation where their take home pay will be enhanced through the increase in their allowances.”
Dingyadi listed the police personnel allowances and approvals that were reviewed upward to include duty tour allowance, which was raised to six per cent of the new take home pay. Council also approved the payment of N1.12 billion for the settlement of outstanding benefits of personnel for the uninsured period between 2013 and 2020, which had not been covered under the group personal insurance programme.
He stated, “FEC has also approved the release of N13, 127, 972, 260 (Thirteen billion, one hundred twenty seven million, nine hundred seventy two thousand, two hundred and sixty nine naira) for payment as outstanding death benefits of 5,472 personnel within the uninsured period of 2013 to August 2021, not covered under the Group Life Insurance.
“Council has also approved the payment of the sum of 1.2 billion as payment of outstanding burial expenses of personnel period of January 2012 to 2021.
“Council has also graciously approved the annual insurance premiums of 750 million naira as well as payment of Four billion, eight hundred and twelve million, five hundred thousand naira for the repairs and replacement of damaged police infrastructure in future budgets, starting from 2022.
“Council has also approved a tax waiver in the sum of eighteen billion, six hundred million for personnel, junior officers in the police, in order to increase their take home pay, this is going to take effect from October 2021.
“Similarly, government has also approved the increase of the current rent subsidy, which is currently between 15 and 20 per cent, amounting to N61 billion, increase is 40 per cent of the consolidated policy salary structure (CONPOST) in the sum of seventy eight billion three hundred million naira, that is to say an increase of about sixteen billion, four hundred million naira. “It has also approved payment of an additional six per cent shift duty allowance for officers on level 01 to 14 and the supervisors allowances for officers on level 15 and above. This will come out to about ten billion and thirty million naira with effect from 2022. Most importantly, government also approved payment of about 20 per cent of CONPOST, it is peculiar allowances to boost morale, and take home pay of the Nigeria Police.
“This 20 per cent is percentage of the total salary, known as peculiar allowance. It is a new allowance created to improve their take home pay.”
Dingyadi added that all the proposed allowances and salary structure would be compiled and forwarded to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) and Salary and Wages Commission for vetting and proper scrutiny
He said, “It is thereafter that the Accountant General of the Federation will be directed to approve the payment. We can see that with this development now, the police would be earning a more attractive pay that will be commensurate with what they’re doing. What we expect the police to do after this is to double their efforts and justify the confidence that Mr. President and FEC have vested in them.
“As a ministry we will do whatever it takes to ensure that we improve the performance and the relationship between the police and the public to ensure that they justify this good gesture.”
The minister emphasised that although the proposal may not have been captured in the 2022 Appropriation Bill, it would be taken care of via a supplementary budget that would be sent later to the National Assembly for approval.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who was also at the media briefing, said the police wage increase was not part of the 2022 budget proposal of federal government currently before the National Assembly. Ahmed assured that the police salary increase would come into effect once the supplementary budget was approved by the legislative arm.
“No, we are not talking about taking effect in January 2022. But the effective date is still January 2022. When all the problems are sorted out there will be supplementary budget sent to the parliament.”
Deji Elumoye in Abuja