Corruption in the Nigeria Police Force may continue if the federal government fails to take urgent measures to address the poor take-home pay and living conditions of the personnel.
A Nigerian police constable was said to be earning between N43, 000 and N51, 000, depending on his length of service and accommodation plan; a sergeant’s pay is about N50, 000, after deductions of tax, accommodation allowance and others.
Experts in the security sector have condemned this trend, saying for the nation to get the kind of police it deserves, the Government must address the issue of poor salary for police officers and men without which, the morale of officers would remain at its lowest ebb and corruption in the larger society may not seize since the “police is the mirror of any society.”
Juxtaposing the realities in the Nigeria Police with its counterparts in United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Ghana and South Africa, the Nigeria police do not earn salary but ‘survival stipend’.
The average starting salaries of new police officers ranged from $26,600 to $49,500, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
The BJS says, “In the US, the city or state where police officers work affects their wages. As of 2012, the starting salary for officers in the Miami Police Department was $45,929.
“New police officers working for the Los Angeles Police Department start out earning $46,583 with a high school diploma.
“Officers who had completed at least 60 credit hours of college and had at least a 2.0 grade point average started out earning $48,462 in Los Angeles.
“Those who had a bachelor’s degree or more advanced degree earned $50,342.”
Thousands of officers and men of the Nigeria Police receive some of the poorest pay even in the West African sub-region.
Ghanaian police officers earn more money than their Nigerian counterparts, and receive better training and welfare packages. An average police officer in Ghana earns 7 GH¢ daily.
An average police officer in South Africa earns R142, 900 per year, according to the National Salary Data of the country.
Across Nigeria, officers live in squalor within and outside the barracks. They live and go to work for months from broken-down vehicles, uncompleted buildings and garages.