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Senate introduces bill to amend Police Act 2020

Police act
With the rising state of insecurity in Nigeria, the Senate on Wednesday, resolved to introduce a bill seeking to amend the Police Act of 2020.
This is coming six months after President Muhammadu Buhari, on September 16, assented to the Nigeria Police Bill, 2020, which repeals the Police Act Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation, 2004.
The new bill, titled the Nigeria Police Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to decentralize the Command Structure with operational and budgetary powers vested in the Zonal Offices, is being sponsored by Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru.
The Bill also seeks to establish Zonal Security Advisory Council and State Security Advisory Council to advise on the security challenges facing each zone or State respectively.
One of the salient provisions introduced in the new bill is the amendment seeking to insert a new Section “6(7)” which provides for the structure of the Nigeria Police Force as follows:
(a) Force Headquarters
(b) Zonal Headquarters
(c) State Commands
(d) Training Institutes
(e) Area Commands
(f) Divisional Police Headquarters
(g) Police Station.
The new section makes provision for an organic structure for the Nigeria Police Force so that its operations would be streamlined and easily and better coordinated in line with global best practice.
The new Section 6(9)(a) of the Bill establishes the Zonal Structure of the Nigerian Police Force to be headed by an Assistant Inspector General of Police who will be given the power of budgetary control over their respective zones.
The provision also makes for an even spread to all the geopolitical zones in the country and it also obviates the unnecessary administrative bottleneck of having to report to the Inspector General in Abuja before key decisions are made, especially those urgent decisions pertaining to funds.
Section 6(9)(a) Zonal Structure of the Nigerian Police Force provides thus:
(i) The Zonal Offices of the Force shall consist as follows:
Zone 1: Kano/Jigawa/Katsina;
Zone 2: Lagos/Ogun;
Zone 3: Adamawa/Taraba/Gombe;
Zone 4: Benue/Plateau/Nasarawa;
Zone 5: Edo/Delta/Bayelsa.
Zone 6: Rivers/Akwa-Ibom/Cross Rivers;
Zone 7: Kaduna/Niger/FCT;
Zone 8: Ekiti/Kwara/Kogi;
Zone 9: Imo/Abia;
Zone 10: Sokoto/Zamfara/Kebbi;
Zone 11: Oyo/Osun/Ondo;
Zone 12: Bauchi/Yobe/Borno
Zone 13: Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi.
(ii)Each Zonal Office shall be headed by an Assistant Inspector General of Police who shall report to the Inspector General of Police.
(iii)The Zonal Offices shall have operation and budgetary control over the Police formations in the Zone and shall prepare and submit to the Force Headquarters their budget.
Sections 6(9) and (10) of the Bill made provisions for the establishment of Zonal and State Security Advisory Councils respectively.

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