THE NEW PSC – ARASE WALKING THE TALK; A PROMISE LOOKING GOOD BY IKECHUKWU ANI

THE NEW PSC – ARASE WALKING THE TALK; A PROMISE LOOKING GOOD BY IKECHUKWU ANI

 

By The Tochlight Africa News

It was a colourful gathering at the second edition of the Police Service Commission end of year Party and Awards Ceremony which held at the Corporate Headquarters of the Commission on Tuesday, 19th December 2023. It was a celebration of excellence and a testament of the making of a new and forward looking PSC, a statutory Federal Government Agency charged with the responsibilities of appointment, promotion, dismissal and disciplinary control of Members of the Nigeria Police Force (except the Inspector General of Police). For one, the Commission had something to celebrate and this celebration attracted galaxy of eminent Nigerians who came in their numbers, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report.

The Commission mid last year formally relocated to its corporate headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, an imposing edifice that took the uncanny determination of Dr. Solomon Arase, CFR, the 18th Inspector General of Police who was barely two weeks in office as the 5th Chairman of the Commission, to see to reality. It was clear 12 years after the construction of the building began during the tenure of Parry Osayande, retired Deputy Inspector General of Police as Chairman.

On Friday 29th of this month, March 2024, Dr. Arase would be one year old on the saddle and within this short period, the story of the Commission has since changed for the better, a Commission that now leads the way attracting a lot of goodwill and defining the road map for a new and vibrant policing sector in the country. From a neglected and abused orphan, the Commission has been rejuvenated to play its constitutional roles of appointment, promotion and discipline of the work force of the Nigeria Police Force and has also continued to attract the attention of all Nigerians and non Nigerians of goodwill.

Dr. Arase had captured the mood in the Commission in his welcome address at the end of year ceremony and Awards night. He noted “without sounding immodest, permit me to say that within these nine months of being at the helm of affairs of the Commission, the story of the Commission is different, quite different; contrastingly different; positively contrasting to the inglorious past in the life of the Commission.

He continued; “Today over 130 staff of the Commission have been trained both locally and internationally. Retreat for management Staff was successfully organized and held in Benin, Edo State. For the first time in the life of the Commission, its Directors were admitted into executive and strategic Management Courses in prestigious national institutions like National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), National Defence College (NDC) and Institute of Security Studies (ISS).”

According to Dr. Arase, the Commission “is now always in the news and obviously for the right reasons adding that the relationship between the Commission and Nigeria Police Force is now cordial with both Institutions respecting the constitutional boundaries and powers of each other. This according to him was achieved based on trust-building mechanisms employed through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation, geared towards the enhancement of the overall interest of our national security.”

At one year in Office, Arase gives thanks to God. According to him “there is no vision that any man has that is not from God and we give him all the glory for what we have achieved. “I will not say we have reached the peak or reached the eldorado but I think from now, we have been able to put the Commission on auto Pilot that with or without me the Commission will just work seamlessly and that was the purpose.”

He continued “we have faced a lot of challenges, scarcity of funds, so no matter how you think you want to drive the process, once there is no fund, you are slowed down drastically but we thank God that we have been able to have people who are keying into our Vision like the road leading to our Corporate office in Jabi which was part of the things the FCT Minister graciously reconstructed and gave to us. ” You will now see that the ambience of the Commission has taken up a new look and we have been able to make sure that our corporate office has the semblance of a home outside of home, we have a sick bay which we have been able to emplace, we have a creche which is also up and running. I am a gender sensitive person, so I want the women who are here who have children to be able to have that confidence that they are coming to work and are able to get the work done without distraction.

“My own take about the Commission is that the Human Resources Department must have the capacity to train the staff in such a way that if we are talking about PSC, you can boast and say we have the best materials you can think of, people who can think critically and be able to develop policies for the Nigeria Police Force. The recruitment, yes, the Promotion, yes, Discipline, yes, these are the main things but it is more than that”.

Dr. Arase continued; “If you look at what oversight and accountability of civilian oversight of the Police is in other jurisdictions, you will discover that we have not gotten there. But luckily, last year, despite there was no funds, we were able to train close to about 130 Staff without a dime from the Commission. Now we have been able to secure two slots at the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS. I am also looking at the Institute of Security Studies too to see how we can have two participants.

“I think going forward we should have some consideration for setting funds aside for training, most of the trainings we have done have been courtesy of UNDP, UNODC, ICRC (Red Cross) etc. We also had this online programme with a South African University. And now in about three weeks or two, people will be leaving for Japan and we are also thinking that we should be able to get about twenty slots for our staff to go to South Korea. I am more of a trainer, any place I have worked, I had used training to change the narrative and outlook of the establishment.
Dr. Arase admits that the journey so far has not been easy, but “we have remained undaunted in our efforts to change the narrative about the Commission and reposition it towards greater efficiency and effectiveness in delivering on its mandate.

Within a space of one year Arase has ensured the training and retraining of Staff (both locally and internationally) with over 200 already trained. He deployed his extensive national and international contacts to give the Commission the opportunities to access these trainings hitherto unknown in the Commission. He also saw to the establishment of Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU) to oversight the Police Complaints Unit; establishment of a sick bay in the Office and prompt dispensation of Disciplinary issues against Police Officers. His leadership has increased visibility of Commission’s activities across the nation through regular and reliable media outreach; successful conduct of the ongoing recruitment exercise in conjunction with the Nigeria Police, including restoration of harmonious working relationship between the Commission and the Nigeria Police Force.

It is obvious that the Commission has positioned itself to make a success of its constitutional mandate. Dr. Arase came into the life of the Commission with a big dream and promise. He has restored the self worth of the staff and brought credibility to its operations. The ongoing recruitment of Nigerian youths into the constable cadre of the Nigeria Police Force has been painstaking and without hitches. The setting up of a Police Recruitment Board comprising all the relevant Agencies in the Police Sector (Police Service Commission, Nigeria Police Force, Ministry of Police Affairs, Federal Character Commission, Police Trust Fund and Police Colleges)has not only conferred credibility to the exercise but brought inclusiveness. It is obvious that at the end of the day Nigerians will be happy to have a Police Force ready and equipped to secure our fatherland. Dr. Arase is obviously walking the talk and it is becoming a promise looking good. Nigeria and Nigerians will be better for it. Although Dr. Arase says this is just a tip of the ice berg.

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