It is with great delight that I welcome you all to this years conference and retreat of senior police officers. (The fourth edition in its series).This is a unique gathering of strategic security managers comprising of Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, Commissioners of Police and other Heads of strategic formations of the Nigeria Police Force. It represents the broadest, most diverse and richest professional engagement by senior police officers in the country. It is also a platform for the force leadership to critically assess the security situation in the country with a view to adequately confronting the array of challenges in the internal security space.
The theme of this year’s conference and retreat “Fostering Economic Prosperity, Social Integration and Political Development through Enhanced Internal Security Mechanism” is derived from the policing vision of the new police leadership in the country “Emplacing a professionally competent, service driven, rule of law compliant and citizen friendly police force which will support the agenda of government in fostering economic recovery and growth as well as social integration and political development of Nigeria”. This conference and retreat with the above stated theme is therefore expected to achieve important strategic objectives which will shape the policies intended to drive the new policing vision.
Upon assumption of office as the Inspector-General of Police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I immediately outlined strategic and pragmatic measures to be taken to reposition the Force in line with Mr. President’s determination to reform and strengthen the nation’s security architecture. The cardinal focus of this new police administration is improving the capability of officers, standardising service delivery viz-a-viz driving transformative agenda, embracing the principles of transparency, accountability, and professionalism while upholding the rights of citizens and attending to the welfare of our officers.
The Police Force under my watch is poised to confront head on the menace of violent crimes in our country, restore calm to troubled areas and engender an atmosphere of peace, safety and security which will promote national economic growth and prosperity. The establishment of a Special Intervention Squad (SIS), a standby team of specially trained officers to rapidly intervene in major incidents which was immediately announced on my assumption of office is considered immediate priority in this effort. The Squad will be deployed in each command to deal with the state’s salient security challenges. Concrete steps have already been taken to facilitate the smooth take-off of the SIS in Ten (10) pilot states, already identified based on the recent violent crime assessment carried out in all the Thirty-six (36) states of the federation and the FCT, while the other Twenty (27) states will immediately follow. I wish to express gratitude to Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for his kind approval for the specialised training (starting next month) of the initial team of instructors for the SIS. Thank you, Mr President.
The Force recognises that good attitudinal and professional conduct of our officers are central to attaining the ideals we have chosen to embrace as the lead agency in Nigeria’s internal security. The Nigeria Police Force is conscious of the fact that in our duty to secure society and restore peace and public order, are our indispensable partners. The Force is determined to further refine the perception of our officers to the essential concepts of human rights, the rule of law, and citizen-focused policing. Consequently, a specially packaged reorientation programme for officers has commenced. Furthermore, it has been directed that a renewed emphasis should be placed on psychological and attitudinal training for all new recruits at police training schools and college. Recognizing the international and cross-border nature of major crimes and the need for more collaboration with our partners, I have vigorously engaged international partners to create synergy in combating major crimes.
In recent weeks, I attended the Global Public Security Cooperation Conference in China and engaged with the Chinese officials led by the Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China. The visit to China has attracted greater support of the Chinese government for the Nigeria Police Force. This is evidenced in the immediate action taken by the Chinese government to extend invitation to the Nigeria Police to train fifteen (15) of our Officers in Cyber Crime in China to be fully sponsored by the Chinese government. The selected officers drawn from our various investigation units NPF Cyber-crime centre, Interpol section, Intelligence Response Unit (IRT), Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), Special Tactical Squad (STS), Special Investigation Unit (SIU)-departed Nigeria for China on Saturday, 28th October, 2023 (just 2 days ago) with one (1) officer from Research and Planning department.
Similarly, I attended the African Global Interpol Conference in Angola and had the opportunity of engagement with the hierarchy of INTERPOL on the need to strengthen existing synergy between the Nigeria Police and the INTERPOL concerning trans-border crimes. This has brought about a renewed commitment with INTERPOL and partnership with other global players. we have secured commitment of INTERPOL to greater support for the Force and increased partnership with Nigeria, as demonstrated by the physical presence here today of the president of INTERPOL Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi, from the United Arab Emirate.
Earlier in the month, I was at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference held in San Diego, California, USA during which I had a meeting with the Assistant Secretary of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the United States. The meeting yielded better understanding and increased partnership between the INLEA and the Nigeria Police Force. Specifically, an understanding was reached with the INLEA to assist and support the Nigeria Police in the areas of operations and training, especially with respect to the Force initiative to build a cloud database, equip Police Formations across the country with renewable energy sources to complement power supply and enhance our efficiency, creation of sex offenders register and digitization/ police operations nationwide. Also the establishment of the Special Intervention Squad which when fully in operation will increase our fighting power against terrorism, armed banditry and other violent crimes in Nigeria has also been given a big boost. The INLEA as a follow up of my meeting with the Assistant Secretary has immediately commenced action to assist us with the training of all our SIS Commanders, Forty (40) officers are expected to benefit from this training program.
The strategic pivot outlined above will form the bedrock of our deliberations at this conference as we tap into the wealth of experience of security experts, engage in peer review and cross-fertilisation of ideas. The deliberations will assist senior officers in understanding the priorities of the Police management team to effectively conceptualise and subsequently actualise the policing mandate of the Force and fulfil the desires of the government and the expectations of the public for enduring peace and prosperity in our country.
Your Excellency, arising from the importance of security to the attainment of economic prosperity, social integration and political development, and in the performance of its statutory mandate as lead security agency in internal security, the Nigeria Police will continue to play a more unifying role to enhance stability by mobilising available personnel and material resources at our disposal for the adequate management of security and the maintenance of public order and safety; including during all election campaigns.
Participants and resource persons at this Conference and Retreat are enjoined to appreciate the enormity of the responsibility placed on us as strategic security managers and experts. Therefore, we will critically assess our role and responsibilities in attaining the Federal Government’s goal of economic prosperity while recalibrating our mechanism to effectively deliver on our mandate to secure the internal security space.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Police Management Team and all officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, I welcome you once again to the opening ceremony of this year’s Police Conference and Retreat. I appreciate you all for finding time to grace this occasion.