Chairman Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase, CFR, rtd Inspector General of Police, right, AIG Arungwa Nwazue, AIG Zone 5 Benin, centre and CP Mohammed Dankwara, CP Edo state Command, left, at the opening ceremony of the two-day Retreat on Police Service Commission Strategic Plan Review going on in Benin Edo State.

Juliana Francis

Members of the Police Service Commission (PSC), senior police officers, ministries of Police Affairs, Justice, Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria and Civil Society Organisations have kicked start the much talked about retreat aimed at repositioning the police for effective deliverables to the Nigeran populace.


The Chairman of the PSC, Dr Solomon Arase, during his opening remarks at the workshop, explained that the retreat was for the development of a strategic plan for the PSC and review of the Police Regulation workshop. The retreat, which commenced today 20th, will end on the 25th of November, 2023.


According to Arase, the retreat would not have been possible but for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He used the opportunity to thank UNDPN for its untiring efforts, “resilience and focus-mindedness in ensuring Police reforms in Nigeria have birthed this retreat.”

Arase further stated: “This retreat is supported by the ‘Supporting Police Reform Processes in Nigeria’ project led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Security Reform Foundation (GS-Foundation) through generous financial donations from the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO).”


He also maintained that without the aggregation of UNDP’s support, sponsorship and collaboration, this retreat would not have been possible at this time.


He continued thus: “I register my deep appreciation to you all.  On this note, I warmly welcome everyone seated here to this retreat, while also appreciating your acceptance to participate in the training workshop.

“This retreat is two-pronged. The first is the development of a Strategic Action Plan for the Police Service Commission; and the second is, the review of a draft Police Regulation, with special reference to addressing issues in the Nigeria Police Force.

“These two major agendas for this training workshop and retreat are mutually reinforcing to the core objective and intendment for the establishment of the Police Service Commission, as provided in Section 6 of the Police Service Commission Act, 2001 which empowers the Commission to, be responsible for the appointment and promotion of persons to offices-other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police- in the Nigeria Police Force, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons other than-the Inspector-General of Police- in the Nigeria Police Force, formulate policies and guidelines for the appointment, promotion, discipline and dismissal of officers of the Nigeria Police Force, identify factors inhibiting or undermining discipline in the Nigeria Police Force, formulate and implement policies aimed at the efficiency and discipline to the Nigeria Police Force, Perform such other functions which in the opinion of the Commission are required to ensure the optimal efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force; and carry out such other functions as the President may from time to time, direct.”


Arase said that there was no gainsaying the fact that the Commission must be focused on a strategic action plan if it must deliver on its mandate to the Nigerian people.

“This, therefore, underscores the imperative essence of strategic planning, and the importance of this retreat in the life of the Police Service Commission. A strategic action plan is a compendium of articulated organizational goals, vision, and objectives tailored towards its optimal functionality, providing also ways of repositioning its future in the attainment of its mandate. Strategic planning, therefore, entails developing a vision for the institution; identifying strategic priorities; setting out goals and objectives; highlighting key initiatives to be taken; and coming up with an action plan for implementation. With this explanation, I am not in any doubt that we do not know the reason we are here and the onerous task before us. Everyone is therefore implored to wear his/her thinking cap as we embark on this critical assignment of repositioning the Commission, by developing an action template for its greater efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of its statutory functions,” said Arase.

The former Inspector General of Police (IGP), also said no doubt policing in, “our contemporary world finds itself at an important juncture, as emergent crimes continue to place enormous demands on the police on one hand, while the advent of information superhighway has brought the police to greater scrutiny and accountability on the other hand.

“The aggregation of these demands by the people, coupled with the challenges of insecurity in our present-day Nigeria, have continued to impugn on the ability of the police to effectively discharge their duties. Although, several attempts have been made over the years to reposition the Force to be more effective and responsive in the discharge of its responsibilities, as well as to gain and sustain public confidence and trust in the Police; these efforts, however, are yet to record expected outcomes, as the expectations of the people and performance of the police seem to be parallel.

“This has inarguably reinforced the call for police reforms in Nigeria, to make the police more responsive, responsible and accountable to the people.”

Arase said that Police Reform was an integral facet of the Security Sector Reforms (SSR), aimed at promoting the effectiveness of policing and law enforcement in the country by repositioning and revitalizing the institutional, operational, and reputational posture of the NPF for optimal functionality.

He noted: “The Commission as an agency of Government, saddled with the responsibility of exercising oversight powers over the Nigeria Police Force has critical roles in line with its statutory mandate to ensure Police reform in Nigeria. Critical decisions are, therefore, upon the shoulders of the Commission at this critical moment in our history, and we cannot afford to delay.

“At the same time, the nation bears the brunt of a police force whose efficiency, responsibility and accountability in the management of internal security are yet to meet the people’s aspirations and yearnings.  The advent of the Police Act, of 2020 is a remarkable milestone in the life of the Nigeria Police Force, as it was the first comprehensive reform of the Police legislation since the Police Act of 1943.

“The new Act, has, therefore, necessitated a consequential modification of the allied policy and operational instruments that guide the functioning of the Nigeria Police Force, such as the Police Regulations. This is crucial in bringing police operations and conduct in conformity with community expectations, and global best practices.

“A review of the Police Regulation has become imperative given that events have overtaken some aspects of its provisions, while some other contemplations and textual framing need to be neatly aligned with the strategic embrace of recent legal and policy framework on contemporary issues and realities of policing.

Gladly, the UNDP has deployed huge resources at identifying and addressing substantive gaps as well as legal, ethical, and procedural concerns which have grown obsolete, discriminatory and inconsequential in modern day policing in the Police Regulation. The Sections affected are 4, 42, 52, 118, 121, 122, 123, 124, 127, 128 and 271.

“In the course of this retreat, we are going to undertake a meticulous and holistic review of the draft Police Regulation by UNDP, to update and make it come in tune with the changing realities and demands of today’s policing. Section 138 of the Police Act, 2020 has empowered the Honourable Minister, of Police Affairs not only to make Regulations but also to regularly review Police Regulations, on the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police and in collaboration with the Police Service Commission.

“This of course underpins the importance of participation in this retreat drawn from these mentioned institutions and other relevant stakeholders in our internal security architecture.

“I hope that our practical experiences and respective intellectual exposure will be brought to bear in this critical national exercise, in developing a comprehensive, implementable and strategic action plan for the Commission which will serve as a springboard for Police reform in Nigeria. I do not doubt that our deliberations will be fruitful and help in rebirthing a-people-centred police, repositioned and efficient, responsible and accountable to the Nigerian people.”



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