The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, has commissioned the Police Finance House 35 years after the construction started.
It would be recalled that in June 1981, due to the need for the Force to take ownership in the preparation, defence and utilisation of its financial resources, the Nigeria Police Budget Unit was established under the headship of Retired DIG Parry Osayande, the former Chairman of Police Service Commission who was then a Commissioner of Police.
The Point gathered that despite the establishment of the Police Budget Unit, the Nigeria Police Force did not enjoy the Self-Accounting status like its counterparts in the Nigerian Armed Forces and even the Para-Military services.
According to Arase, “this structure was considered inimical to accessing funds required for operational and administrative exigencies, taking into consideration the peculiarities of the Force.
“Arising from this, the Nigeria Police Force was granted a Self-Accounting status in January 2014, by which the Inspector-general of Police becomes the Chief Accounting Officer.
Arase said that the commissioning of the Nigeria Police Finance building he commissioned was “part of the ongoing restructuring of the Nigeria Police Budget and Accounting System to key into the financial reforms in the public sector.”
He said that the Police Management had upgraded the Office of the Commissioner of Police (Budget) to Assistant Inspector-General of Police (Police Accounts and Budget), adding that an organogram to meet this new structure had already been approved.
Arase said, “the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation has posted Directors of Finance and Accounts and Internal Audit to work alongside with the Police Finance Officers. The commissioning of this edifice is meant to provideconducive working environment for our finance officers, including the civilian components that are scattered in various locations as a result of inadequate office accommodation.“
The IGP stressed that the construction of the building was part of steps to fully actualize the Self-Accounting status.
“In recognition of the fact that modern accounting and financial processes are electronic-driven, state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure are being provided as part of this facility, to ease integration into the various payment platforms of the Federal Government.
“The Force is not oblivious of the fact that training and re-training of our officers is a prerequisite for professionalism. It is in realisation of this that the Force has encouraged our personnel to become members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria.
“Today, I can proudly say that the Force has produced many Chartered and Certified Accountants, most of whom have been deployed to the Nigeria Police Accounts and Budget Unit as part of initiatives to professionalise the Unit,“ he said.
The IGP, however, appreciated the contributions of the Nigeria Army Finance Corps, which he said collaborated with PoliceFinance Officers to develop the newly approved organogram and, also for the training of our personnel in the Nigerian Army School of Finance and Administration.
He expressed gratitude to the FG, Minister of Finance, the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation for their support.
Arase also commended AIG Abdul Salami Iyaji, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Nigeria Police Accounts and Budget Section, for his ability to lead his team of knowledgeable and dedicated officers towards aiding the Force leadership in achieving the giant stride.
He challenged Iyaji and his team to put up a sustainable maintenance culture that will keep the edifice as befitting and attractive as possible.