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Police to get 6 helicopters, 500 armoured vans

Posted by By MIKAIL MUMUNI (mumikail@yahoo.com) on 2007/02/27 | Views: 934 |

Police to get 6 helicopters, 500 armoured vans


National coordinator of the Presidential Committee on Police Equipment Fund (PCPEF) Chief Kenny Martins recently led a ten- member team to Kiev, the Ukrainean capital on the invitation of that country’s government and some private sector groups to explore ways of improving the lot of the Nigeria Police.

National coordinator of the Presidential Committee on Police Equipment Fund (PCPEF) Chief Kenny Martins recently led a ten- member team to Kiev, the Ukrainean capital on the invitation of that country’s government and some private sector groups to explore ways of improving the lot of the Nigeria Police.

In this interview with Sunday Sun, Martins recounts his experience during the visit and highlights the dividends that will soon accrue to Nigeria as well as the officers and men of the police force.
Excerpts:

You and some members of your committee were recently in Ukraine, what was the purpose of the visit ?
We were invited by the government of Ukraine, the Minister of Interior, the Ukraine export company, the defense company, the Defence Ministry and some other private companies, including those in aviation. One of the aviation companies had, for example, earlier donated the services of two helicopters to us earlier and they invited us to come over so that they could review upward the fleet which has now been increased to six.
So, we went there to consolidate some of these donations and some of the collaborations between us and the police over there and the two governments.

Who were some of the members of your delegation?
It was a high-powered delegation. I was there, we had somebody from the banks, our consultant on aviation, Captain Samson Ebosie, NTA was invited by those people in Ukraine to cover the visit, two of our international consultants. We were about ten in all.

Was the Inspector General of Police represented?
The IG was supposed to be represented by a commissioner of police, but there was a problem, he could not come with us. But since we came back and made our report, there are now plans for both the President and the IG to go in the next few weeks and we will also be with them.

Who funded the trip if I may ask?
The trip was funded by the government of Ukraine, the aviation company and the defence industry of Ukraine. It was funded hundred per cent by them. There was no cost on us in terms of funding.

You said something about the helicopters being increased to six. To what use are we putting them?
The helicopters were donated to assist the Nigeria Police, the Police Equipment and to assist the nation in times of emergency. During the crash of the ADC plane in Abuja for example, the two helicopters were called in to assist in the rescue operations .
So, they will be assisting any agency that requires such services. They will also be deployed for some other use that can generate income for the Police Equipment Fund, to fund and assist the police. So these are the ways we intend to use them.

So, it is not that the helicopters will be handed over to the Nigeria Police?
Two of the helicopters would be handed over to the police, while four would be deployed for the general purposes that I enumerated.

In the course of your visit, you must have held talks with police authorities in Ukraine and also visited some facilities. What are those things lacking here that they have and which we can copy to improve our policing and the lot of our policemen ?
During our stay there, we visited the Police Academy for the orphans of fallen police officers. It is a full-blown academy where you get trained and you can join the police if you so desire. It was so impressive that a society set up a whole school with all the modern facilities to take care of children of fallen policemen. Very impressive. The Police Equipment Fund intends to do a similar thing here as one of its legacies to the Nigeria Police.

We visited the armament industry where armoured personnel carriers, APC’s are being built. We saw armoured cash transit vans where we had commitments from the company involved to support Police Equipment Fund and assist the police and the banks in acquiring 500 units of these vehicles. They are fully armoured to a very high ballistic level. When they arrive, transportation of cash will be done in safety both for the banks and the police personnel and there will be no need to use converted pick up vans for such duties anymore. The way we transport money will then be modernized and safe like the way advanced countries of the world transport money.

We also visited the textile company that makes uniform and other kits for their police, the military and other security agencies. They have pledged to come down to Nigeria and set up a factory if they can get commitment from us. We are currently discussing how they can be involved in kitting our policemen and other agencies.

The armoured cash vans company is also willing to set up a plant here. So, what we have discovered is that Police Committee can be a vehicle for attracting foreign investments to Nigeria, apart from equipping the Nigeria Police.
Apart from Ukraine, we have also received invitations from many other countries of the world and we feel the benefits that would accrue to Nigeria from such visits would be enormous."

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