The National Assembly has stated that the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) is over stressed in all ramification as it has 300,000 officers and men manning 180 million people.
This Ratio, the Speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara says is below the United Nations recommendation of 1 to 400 people population Ratio.
This was at a one day public hearing on a bill for an act to establish the Nigerian Police Reform Trust Fund and a bill for an act to amend the explosive act of 1964.
The Police Force is the principal law enforcement agency in Nigeria with a staff strength of about 371,800.
The NPF is a very large organization consisting of 36 State commands grouped into 12 zones and 7 administrative organs. The agency is currently headed by IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.
History of the Nigerian Police Force
Nigeria’s police was first established in 1820. The first person to have the highest rank in all the police is commissioner general colonel KK.
In 1879 a 1,200-member armed paramilitary Hausa Constabulary was formed. In 1896 the Lagos Police was established. A similar force, the Niger Coast Constabulary, was formed in Calabar in 1894 under the newly proclaimed Niger Coast Protectorate.
In the north, the Royal Niger Company set up the Royal Niger Company Constabulary in 1888 with headquarters. When the protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria were proclaimed in the early 1900s, part of the Royal Niger Company Constabulary became the Northern Nigeria Police, and part of the Niger Coast Constabulary became the Southern Nigeria Police. During the colonial period, most police were associated with local governments (native authorities).
In the 1960s, under the First Republic, these forces were first regionalised and then nationalised.
The NPF performed conventional police functions and was responsible for internal security generally; for supporting the prison, immigration, and customs services; and for performing military duties within or outside Nigeria as directed.
Plans were announced in mid-1980 to expand the force to 200,000. By 1983, according to the federal budget, the strength of the NPF was almost 152,000, but other sources estimated it to be between 20,000 and 80,000. Reportedly, there were more than 1,300 police stations nationwide.
Police officers were not usually armed but were issued weapons when required for specific missions or circumstances. They were often deployed throughout the country, but in 1989 Babangida announced that a larger number of officers would be posted to their native areas to facilitate police- community relations.