SULEIMAN MUHAMMAD SAYE Ph.D
PROFESSOR OF COUNSELLING AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY,
DEAN, POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL
Thirty-three years is sufficient, a matured age for an adolescent to make impact on his/her immediate surroundings and even beyond, at forty is considered a full adult capable of handling any challenge.
The Nigeria Police Academy was established in 1988 (33 years ago) following the need to upgrade the quality of Nigeria Police Force from the inherited British Colonial West African Frontier Force. It was also established as part of the Police Reform initiative; to produce the ideal Superior Police Officer who is equipped with knowledge and skills to face the challenges of policing in an increasingly complex Nigerian society and technologically sophisticated world. It is built on the philosophy to train highly reformed, mobile, innovative, effective civil police.
Before 1988, the Academy was running a dual programme of Cadets Inspectors and Cadets Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASPs) at Challawa, Kaduna and then Wudil. Degree and Diploma holden were given an eighteen months programme in Police professional training and Police laws without any input by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The necessity to upgrade and convert the Academy to a Degree awarding cropped up due to the barrage of challenges poised by security issues locally and globally. Initial move was made by a committee headed by DIG M. Danmadami in 2006 and another one by IGP M. D. Yusuf in 2007. The reports of the two committees did not see the light of the day but had influenced the necessity of setting another one headed by an academic: Prof. Tekena N. Tamuno (a Historian from University of Ibadan).
Tamuno’s 14-man committee was made up of a variety of professional people and academics from the government, the Police Force and other indispensable security stakeholders. The committee submitted its report in 1998 with a strong recommendation of upgrading the Academy to a degree awarding status. In 1999, the Federal Government approved the recommendation and released the sum of N318 million as take-off grant. By 23rd April, 2009, the Hon. Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame in the course of inaugurating the Police Reform Committee stated the immediate take-off of Academy as a degree awarding institution. It was one of the cardinal objectives of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s reform programme.
With this inauguration, the ball was set rolling, in doing so, the Academy shall adhere to the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards as prescribed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) which supervises and regulates all degree awarding programmes – institutions in Nigeria. The Academy would also aim at serving not only the needs of the Police force and related agencies but those of the society in general. It shall also aim at providing training that would prepare its graduates not only for the Police duty but also their post-career life.
The planning committee for the take off of the new institution was made up of:
Prof. Idris Abdulkadir – Chairman
Prof. Nura Alkali – Member
Prof. Buba Bajoga – Member
Prof. Munzali Jibril – Member
Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede – Member
Prof. F. A. Ogunbona – Member
DIG Fidelis Oyakhilome (rtd) – Member
Alh. Adamu Gumba – Member
Alh. DIG Uba Ringim – Member
Alh. Mukhtar Abbas – Member
Dr. Ahmed Adam Okene – Member
Dr. Ezekiel O. Oyemoni – Member/Secretary
This committee worked tirelessly and finally succeeded to upgrade, the Academy to a degree awarding institution and the National Universities Commission (NUC) accordingly recognized it as the thirty-seven (37th) Federal University and one hundred and twenty fourth (124th) University in Nigeria.
Academic activities commenced on September 2013, secondary school leavers were admitted and started a five-year degree programme at Wudil on 22nd September, 2013.
The academic head of the institution is to be manned by a Provost but due to exegesis, the Bill is yet to be approved. Prof. Munzali Jibril was appointed to serve as the Pioneer Coordinator. Others that follow are thus:
Prof. Munzali Jibril – 06/11/2010 – 31/03/2015
Prof. Siraj Abdulkarim – 31/03/2015 – 29/03/2017
Prof. Ibrahim Abdulkadir (Acting) – 29/04/2017 – 22/07/2019
Prof. Umar M. Sani (Acting) – 27/07/2019 – To date
Mal. Ghali Usman – 06/01/2010 – 31/03/2017
Mr. Charles Egwumba (acting) – 31/03/2017 – To date
AIG C. T. Akagbosu 1989 – 1990
AIG J. A. Iyamabo 1990 – 1996
AIG B. A. Albasu 1996 – 1999
AIG Baba Amadu 1999 – 2000
AIG O. O. Onovo 2000 – 2001
AIG W. Ehikhametalor 2001 – 2002
AIG U. Suleiman 2002 – 2002
AIG N. E. Nijom 2002 – 2005
AIG E. I. Anuniru 2005 – 2008
AIG Mukhtar Abbas 2008 – 2009
AIG J. O. Uzuegbunam 2009 – 2010
AIG Danlami ‘Yar’Adua 2010 – 2011
AIG Shehu A. Babalola 2011 – 2012
AIG Christopher Dega 2012 – 2013
AIG B. A. Bolanta 2013 – 2015
AIG Adenrele T. Shinaba 2015 – 2016
AIG Aminchi S. Baraya 2016 – 2017
AIG Sani U. Muhammad 2017 – 2018
AIG Yakubu O. Jibrin 2018 – 2019
AIG Zanna M. Ibrahim 2019 – 2021
AIG Lawan T. Jimeta 2021 – 2022
AIG Ahmad Abdulrahman 2022 – Date
Since the upgrading in September 1988, the following ASPs have graduated from the institution:
1st Regular Course 23/11/2017 – 600
2nd Regular Course 14/03/2019 – 621
3rd Regular Course (Tuesday 22/06/2021) – 418
As of today, over a thousand six hundred well-grounded middle-level Police Officers have been injected into the society to beef up and enhance the security efforts of the nation.
Fifteen out of the seventeen programmes have been successfully accredited by the National Universities Commission.
Five iconic projects executed by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are completed and been used, they include a modern Postgraduate Hostel, 4500-seater auditorium, a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory, an independent shooting range, and an ICT complex.
Also, some capital projects such as the unique Muhammadu Buhari Parade Ground, the VIP Pavilion, Photography Pavilion, Institute for Security Studies and Cyber Crime have been completed. Cadet/Students’ Affairs Complex, Postgraduate School and the Convocation Square are in the pipeline.
The institution is a division and member of INTERPRA (International Institute of Police Academies).
All these laudable achievements are possible by the joint efforts of the Presidency, the Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, the CBN under Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission (PSC).
One of the major stumbling blocks bedeviling all universities in Nigeria today is lack of adequate funding. The Police Academy is not an exception, in fact, it is more dire here because of the dual roles. More funds are required so as to stimulate efforts to ensure the Academy compete favourably with similar Police Institutions internationally. Secondly, the Academic Bill has remained a mirage. Without the Bill, the institution lacks ‘Legal backing’ and there are quite a number of decisions that suffer, for instance the issue of Governing Council is still pending.
Secondly, POLAC is facing the problem of management especially the Academic wing. The five Professors that headed the institutions so far are either Coordinators or acting Coordinators instead of Provost as enshrined in the Bill.
Provost shall have a full fledge mandate to execute a planned programme of activities. Coordinators do not have such mandate. The Bill has been prepared and sent since 4 years ago, but is still to be signed. There are a lot of stories about the Bill, some say its delayed due to personal/stakeholders’ interests, others say its because of role conflict to be sorted out. Whatever the case, the Bill is very vital for an effective running of the institution. So where is the Bill? I beg to know.
If there is any dark area in the trends of growth in the life of the workers of POLAC, welfare is the main thorn in our flesh. Staff have cried, wept and have surrendered to the will of the Almighty in a typical Nigeria common man’s “God dey” style on this aspect. The fact that we are not allowed to join any labour union, makes it almost impossible for our grievances to be forwarded. Teething issues like accommodation i.e housing, pension, allowances, local conferences are poorly handled to the dislike of many staff members.
Though promotions are done, but, there are a lot of gaps to fill in terms of staffing, interviews of principal officers, lecturers and lab scientists and technicians were conducted at one time or the other but results remain elusive, it may not be unrelated to lack of a Governing Council which may facilitate execution of vital decisions. So, we keep on asking for the sake of the Almighty: where is our Bill?