When President Muhammadu Buhari announced the approval of 20 per cent salary increase for officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) on December 15, there was jubilation and mixed reactions not just among the officers, but also the general public.
The president had through the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, told state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting that the review exercise which would to take effect from January 2022, was in response to the demands made by EndSARS protesters in 2020, primarily on the improvement of welfare for police officers.
He said that the take-home pay would be enhanced through the duty tour allowance to six per cent of their new take-home pay and an approval of N1.12 billion for payment of outstanding uninsured benefits for the period of 2013 to 2020.
However, while many saw the increase as a morale booster for the police to effectively carry out their duties, others feel the salary rise would not make any difference in the rot that has engulfed the force.
For the records, the last time the police had a review of salary was during the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and since then nothing has been done as far as salary is concerned.
Before the increase by President Buhari, a police constable earned about N40,000, meaning that with the increase, a police Constable would be going home with about N50,000.
But while the increment should have been a thing of joy to the rank and file, many are not happy since the increase was not included in the 2022 budget and, therefore, see it as a scam.
Some police officers who spoke to Sunday Sun have mixed feelings about the increase, saying that the problem in the force was more than salary increase.
Some of the officers who do not want their names mentioned in print for fear of being victimized said that though the salary increase was good, there were more pressing needs in the police especially in the areas of logistics, welfare, and others.
More than the salary increase, many police officers said that they would prefer that government provide them with good healthcare facility, scholarship for their children, good and affordable accommodation, transport system, among other goodies to make their job comfortable.