Following their recent recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force, thousands of police constables have asked the police authorities to either provide them with their six months’ worth of salaries or permit them to seek alternative employment opportunities.
The constables said this on Wednesday as they again lamented non-payment of their salaries for over six months since they passed out of their training despite an announcement by the Police Service Commission (PSC) in May that it had approved the payment of the six months’ salaries.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how the recruits who passed out of the police training institutions on December 29, 2022, had not been paid for months despite resuming at their duty posts across the country.
In May, SaharaReporters again reported that the constables had not been paid as one of the affected officers who spoke to the newspaper said that the situation had demoralised many of them as they were finding it difficult to meet their responsibilities to their families.
Some of them had added that they were “surviving on bribes and extortion” due to the delay in the payment of their salaries.
A few days later, the Police Service Commission through its spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, said the salary payment for the constables had been approved, adding that the approval was in the interest of national security, anchored on the need to amicably resolve the lingering recruitment issues between PSC and the Nigeria Police Force.
But on Wednesday, one of the recruits told SaharaReporters that though they read about the approval for the payment of their salaries by the PSC, they have not been paid since they passed out of the police training institutions.
The recruit who pleaded anonymity to avoid victimisation said, “I am one of the recently passed out constables that they recruited last year. We have not been paid ever since we passed out last year from training schools and colleges.
“There was nicki swift last month that the chairman of the police service commission has approved our six months salary and had ordered them to start paying us but unfortunately we didn’t receive any money last month ending and we haven’t heard anything from the authorities about our payment, and we must report to duty every day or else we’ll be defaulted and tried.
“If they can’t pay us, they should allow us to go home and look for other jobs to sustain ourselves and families. We are suffering a lot and the hardship right now is unbearable. My widowed mother is still the one struggling to send me money and foodstuffs – someone who I am supposed to be helping.”