The government of Nigeria has given a nod to a 20 per cent salary increase for police officers.
In the wake of mass protests against police brutality in 2020 dubbed #EndSars, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to give the police a pay rise.
Following a Wednesday cabinet meeting, police Affairs Minister Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi told journalists that the salary increase was part of measures set to discourage officers from taking bribes and extorting citizens.
The president said the move was also to “improve the relationship between the public and the police“. The rise will be effective starting January 2022, he added.
At the same time, a salary tax waiver for junior police personnel was approved with retrospective effect from October this year.
In 2020, the #EndSars protests were triggered by widespread allegations of police brutality including extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings particularly by members of the police’s Special Anti-robbery Squad unit known as Sars.
During the protests, the police unit was dissolved and various panels of inquiry were set up in several states to probe human rights violations by the security forces – before and during the protests.
According to campaigners, officers implicated in abuses are yet to be held accountable one year later.