The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has taken delivery of 263 patrol vehicles making up the initial delivery of 2 564 new police vehicles which President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to deploy to ensure peace and security in Nigeria.
According to reports from Lagos, the new patrol vehicles which were unveiled by Vice President Namadi Sambo on the weekend include 170 Nissan NP-300 Hardbody pick-ups, 129 Nissan Frontier Twin-Cabs, 50 Nissan Patrol 4WD SUVs, 10 Toyota twin-cab 4×4 armoured vehicles and four Ford 550 4×4 armoured personnel carriers.
“The procurement of these vehicles is aimed at boosting the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force to deliver effectively, efficiently and appreciably. A well-equipped and adequately motivated police force will assist in ensuring that the security needed to drive the economic growth and development of Nigeria is guaranteed,” Sambo said.
“It is also expected that the deployment of these operational vehicles will translate to enhanced surveillance of our communities in order to improve security. In view of the strong commitment of the government to provide for the NPF within available resources, it is my hope that the gesture by government will assist the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring a violence-free election this month.”
NPF Inspector General Suleiman Abba said the new patrol vehicles will strengthen operational capacity and boost police preparations to secure the elections on February 14. He said the police hope that more vehicles, some of which were ordered from an undisclosed indigenous manufacturer, would be delivered in time before the poll.
“We cannot be too certain on delivery because there are many factors of production involved, but the most important thing is that the contract has been signed and the supply is coming from an indigenous company. The multiplier effect of this vehicle contract will greatly improve the operational capabilities of the police force across the country. With these vehicles, the Nigerian Police is better prepared to present a stronger challenge against all forms of crime which have been threatening public security and safety in the Country,” Abba said.
The NPF has taken a very active role in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency which has since spread from its traditional confines in the north to the north-east with an increasingly deadly deployment of Improvised Explosives Devices (IED), grenades and heavy-calibre vehicle-borne bombs.
The insurgency has heightened the demand for force protection and operational vehicles to minimise the number of IED and bombing casualties among servicemen. The NPF presently has a number of armoured personnel carriers, mainly variants of the South African-made Springbuck, in service.