The Senate on Tuesday read for the third time and passed the Police Trust Fund Bill.
The bill, which was presented on the floor of the senate as a bill for concurrence from the House of Representatives, was passed after a clause-by-clause consideration.
The Senate also passed four other bills for concurrence.
They are the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) Establishment Bill, 2019; the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill, 2019; the Animal Diseases Control Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 and the Federal University of Education, Nsugbe Establishment Bill, 2019.
The Police Trust Fund Bill was first read in the House of Representatives on March 1, 2017 and scaled second reading on May 25, 2017 and was referred to the house committee on police for consideration.
It was read for the third time and passed in the house on February 13, 2018.
The bill seeks to address the funding challenges of the Nigeria police in totality and on a sustainable basis. It seeks to tax corporate entities to complement the Federal Government in funding the police.
The bill will also enable the police to be on first line charge, and would be funded by agreed percentages to be deducted from local and foreign businesses operating in the country.
The funds would then be directly channelled to the state commands on quarterly basis.
Some purposes of the Trust Fund include purchase of equipment, machneries, including operational vehicles for the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
It will also be utilised for the construction of police stations, provisions of living facilities, such as quaters or barracks of the NPF.
Part of the provisions of the bill is exemption from tax.
It says “the Trust Fund shall be exempted from the payment of income tax on any income accruing from investments made by the Trust Fund or otherwise howsoever.
“The provisions of any enactment relating to the taxation of companies or trust funds shall not apply to the Trust Fund.”
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who congratulated his colleagues in both Chambers on the passage of the bill, said by passing the bill, they will be creating “big strides towards providing and improving security and the policing in our country.”
“One of the major concerns has always been the issue of funding. We believe that this bill will provide the funding needed for training and recruitment. I am confident that by the time we lay the report on the Police Reform Bill, we would have gone a long way in moving the police in the right direction,” he said.
The passage of the bill comes a week after Mr Saraki met with the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on the issue.
He had promised that the Senate would fast-track its work on both the Police Trust Fund Bill and the Police Reform Bill.