By Raphael Ekpang
Considering the plight of police officers who have passed through the police academy without assurance of recognition, the Nigeria senate on Wednesday passed a bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Nigeria police academy as a degree awarding institution and for other related matters for the second reading.
The bill sponsored by Senator Hilliru Jika representing Bauchi central in the senate seeks amongst other things to provide for the legal frame work for the Nigeria police academy, Wudi, Kano state.
Leading the debate on the floor of the senate on Wednesday, Sen. Jika said the institution officially took off in 1988 simultaneously at two temporary campuses; Police training school, Challawa, Kano where cadet inspectors were trained and Police College, Kaduna were cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASPs) were trained before their emergence and relocation to Wudi, Kano, her present site on April 2, 1996.
The emergence however, was greeted with joy by men and officers of the force with the expectations that the academy will be affiliated to a university for degree awarding courses.
“In the year 2012, Mr. President, distinguished colleagues the federal government of Nigeria upgraded the Nigeria police academy Wudil-Kano state to a degree awarding institution and the national university commission accordingly recogised the academy as the thirty-seventh federal university and the one hundred and thirty fourth university in Nigeria.
“So far the Nigeria police academy has trained 2,848 cadet ASPs and 2,374 cadet inspectors, making a total of 5.222 cadet officers that have passed out from the academy. Some of these officers were in fact from neighbouring West African countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone.
He noted that the degree awarded to the graduates of the institution risk recognition both at home here and internationally for lack of legal back up, therefore, he urged his colleagues to support the bill to enable the legal frame work to back up the operations of the academy.
“Nigeria needs an institution capable of producing qualitative, skilled and intelligent officers able to meet the manpower needs of its police force, is understatement. The present security challenges in many parts of our country and the complexities of modern policing make it imperative that Nigeria continues to have a stream of middle level officers equipped with competences, backed by sound academic background, high professional and moral standards into its police force for effective law enforcement and selfless service to the nation,” he concluded.
However, the bill masses support from the law makers and was referred to the appropriate committee for further legislative action.