The Nigerian Senate has passed the Police Reform Bill, 2019.
The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday during the Plenary. Titled, Senate Bill 683, the bill was passed after the third reading.
At the Plenary on Wednesday, Senator Tijjanj Kaura (APC-Zamfara North) had presented the report, and it was seconded by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP-Abia North).
They both asked the Senate to consider the report of the Committee on Police Affairs on the Police Reform Bill, 2019 (SB. 683), following which the Senate moved into the presentation and consideration of report.
The Senate, in considering the bill, dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for its clause-by-clause consideration.
Deputy Majority leader Senator Bala N’allah (APC-Kebbi South), arguing in favour of the bill, said some UK delegates had, during the orientation programme, commended the Bill, describing it as “the most important Bill of the eighth Senate.”
Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos East), asked if the Police Force had enough for logistics, or if they have running funds to take care of fuel or even stationaries. He suggested that the Senate focus on the Police Trust Fund as a form of intervention.
“We have to look at what this Bill stands for and address issues such as welfare and the environment in which they work,” Ashafa counselled.
In his response to the passing of the bill, Senate President Bukola Saraki noted that the bill was passed to “ensure that the Police officers are of the better condition and are more productive.”
“We want to ensure that our people are protected at all time. I think this is a very great achievement for all of us and I hope we continue to provide better security for our people, protect lives and citizens.
“This will go a long way to show that we are a listening Parliament, listening Senate and there is nothing better we can do in honour of those who have lost their lives along the way due to the fact that our laws at that time were not in line,” Saraki added.
He expressed gratitude to “the Deputy Leader and all those who had contributed for this very important Bill.”
Saraki noted that since 1943, nothing has been done in addressing the Police Act as a reform; expressing thanks to the Senate Police Committee.
“I want to thank particularly the Police Committee; the Chairman and members, and our colleagues for their contributions and their work in passing this Bill,” Saraki said.