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Promoting Good Governance.

Massive police recruitment, constitutional restructuring… Moghalu’s ideas for a new Nigeria

FORMER Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the candidate of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) Kingsley Moghalu, says he will recruit one and a half million new policemen and women if he wins the 2019 presidential election.

Moghalu said this during a town hall event organised by DTV in collaboration with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), with funding from the MacArthur Foundation. The event tagged ‘The Candidates’, is designed to get the presidential and vice presidential candidates of selected political parties to educate the general public on why they are the best suited for the post.

Moghalu said it is improper that a country as vast as Nigeria, with about 200 million people, is being policed by 300,000 policemen.

“I intend, as President, to recruit one point five million new policemen and women for the Nigeria Police, train them, equip them, and have them recruited for a modern, 21st-century police,” he said.

“We are a 200-million people and we have 300 and something thousand policemen officially, one-third of them are guarding VIPs in their homes, another 70,000 are alleged to be ghost workers. You have to invest in securing yourself.”

Moghalu said this while explaining how he intends to rejig internal security and make it more functional than it is presently. He said his government would not “kick people out into the streets” but that people could be moved from one government establishment where they are redundant to another where they would be more productive. Hence, some people may be moved from a ministry, for instance, given the required training, and then redeployed to the security sector.

He said that some people could be allowed to leave the service but “you don’t kick them out into streets. You help them access a new way of livelihood, either with an exit package or you direct them to the venture capital funding business plan” which his administration is going to introduce if he wins.

Moghalu was right that the Nigeria Police has a workforce of about 300,000 personnel. This much has been revealed by The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, at a conference in November 2018.

Idris, who was represented at the conference by Olusegun Odumosu, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Inspectorate Department at the Force Headquarters, said that the total number of police personnel was about 334,000. However, according to Wikipedia, the number of police personnel in Nigeria is 371,800.

Similarly, in 2017, the IGP said that the force needs to recruit 31,000 new police officers annually over the next five years in order to ensure effective policing across the country.

He noted, at the time, that Nigeria has a ratio of one policeman to 600 persons, which is far below the approved United Nations ratio of one policeman to 400 persons.

Also, during Wednesday’s town hall event, Moghalu said that Nigeria’s economy cannot be effectively diversified from its almost total dependence on crude oil if the constitution is not restructured, as according to him, Nigeria is presently structured as a mono-product economy.

“There is no way you can diversify the economy of this country without a constitutional restructuring of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

“Nigeria, as it is today, is geared towards a mono-product economy because of the command and control powers at the central body. If you restructure Nigeria to become a true federation, based on the six geo-political zones, or something like that, and the states or the regions can control their resources, they will generate their own revenues and make a payment of a tax or royalty to the central body of about 30 or 40 per cent.

“So, restructuring and resource control is essential to breaking the back of oil dominance in the Nigerian political economy.”

On how to achieve the constitutional restructuring he is clamouring for, Moghalu said that first of all, Nigeria will be returned to “a proper federation”.

“We are called the Federal Republic of Nigeria but we are, in reality, a unitary state,” he said.

“Two, that federation should be based on geopolitical and geo-economic zones, not states… The reason for that is that there is a lot of economic advantage that comes from a regional approach to economic development, rather than many states which today we know are not viable fiscally.

Moghalu also said that he would favour a two-tier system of government where there exist only the federal government and the “sub-national units. Because, in most, if not all federations, that is the way it is. There is no federation I know of in the world that has local governments as a constitutional tier of government. The only one, which is an exception, is India”.

The entire episode of the town hall event with Moghalu and his running mate, Umma Getso can be viewed online here.

Subsequent editions of the event will feature President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on January 16; Omoyele Sowore and Rabiu Ahmed Rufai of the Africa Action Congress (AAC) on January 23, and Abubakar Atiku and Peter Obi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on January 30.

The Presidential election will hold on February 16, 2019.

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