Supporting police reform processes in Nigeria

Project description

Project title: Police Programme Africa – supporting police reform processes in Nigeria
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Nigeria
Lead executing agency: Nigeria Police Force (NPF); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018


The Boko Haram insurgency has posed a major threat to the stability and security of the country and of the region as a whole. The Nigerian security forces have made progress in pushing back the terrorist group. However, no political solution for dealing systematically with the threat has yet been found.

In the administration of criminal justice, much emphasis has been placed on the non-adherence to the Rule of Law and judicial procedures, which has resulted in a lack of confidence in the state’s ability to combat crime. Consequently, Nigeria faces a number of challenges including; but not limited to, the slow dispensation of justice largely borne out of a lack of adequate equipment, infrastructure, trained personnel as well as standardised processes and procedures to investigate crimes and prosecute criminal cases.

Furthermore, Nigeria has become a transit country for illegal trade, including drugs and human trafficking. Additionally, irregular migration and the increasing number of internally displaced persons remain a challenge for the state institutions.

The responsible authorities, in particular the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), and the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ) are not yet sufficiently capable of meeting these challenges. Working procedures within the institutions are often not transparent and international standards are still to be fully integrated into operational processes. A decade ago, NPF and NIS embarked on an internal reform process that aims at mainstreaming human rights standards into their work. This mainstreaming has yet to take full effect within both organisations.

The Nigerian government is reinvigorated in its efforts to ensure peace, security, and the proper administration of criminal justice.


The capacities of NPF, NIS and FMoJ are strengthened. The state institutions are efficient, transparent and service-oriented and can better fulfil their task to ensure public security and the proper administration of criminal justice.


Since 2009, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been implementing a programme on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office to support police reform processes in Africa. In its current phase, the Police Programme Africa is working with selected national and regional police institutions, an immigration authority, the African Union (AU) and regional organisations in order to improve internal management processes and basic training. The programme is also enhancing specialist and technical knowledge in specific areas such as forensics in order to tackle transnational organised crime and strengthen border security. In addition, it is helping to increase the regional coordination of police services.

In Nigeria, the Police Programme is advising NPF, NIS and FMoJ on professionalising their planning and organisational processes. The programme provides police and management training to improve the skills of staff and is working with its partners to create new modules and curricula for police and immigration academies and the training and certification of trainers. The main goal is to prepare their personnel to manage border posts effectively and enhance criminal investigation techniques in order to ensure a professional level of security and administration of criminal justice.

Another goal is to enhance procedures and processes within NPF, NIS and FMoJ so that they are more transparent and based on international human rights standards. To achieve this, the programme regularly carries out awareness-raising training sessions and refresher courses in this field.

Support is also being provided for the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure such as border posts and police academies. In a number of cases, police buildings are being equipped with furniture, IT resources, vehicles, including motorcycles, and communication equipment. In order to guarantee the basic operationality of the border posts in the long term, repair and maintenance plans are being developed.

The programme fosters dialogue between NPF and NIS and promotes exchange with the border authorities within Nigeria and also in Niger. The programme also promotes dialogue between the police and the population with the aim of increasing confidence in the police and immigration service as service-oriented institutions.


The technical capacities of police and immigration institutions in Nigeria have been strengthened through advisory services and training measures, and international standards have been established. Trainings in human rights, criminal investigation and border management has improved the effectiveness and operational capacities of police and immigration units.

Through small-scale equipment support, the operational capacities of NIS have been strengthened at the North West border so that officers at the border posts are now able to better manage their posts. At the training institutions of the NPF and NIS, IT equipment and learning material support has helped to improve the learning environment and expand the training methods used.

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