Ex-police officers in Cross River petition Buhari over pension scheme, others
Retirees of the Nigeria Police Force under the contributory pension scheme (CPS) in Cross River State have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari rejecting the programme.
The aggrieved retirees in their numbers yesterday protested with placards reading inscriptions like “FGN, exempt police retirees from Pencom;” “What a pity, after 35 years, I could not have a shelter”; “FG what an injustice to the Nigeria Police retirees, give us our due give us our money”; “Pay police their promotion arrears” among others before storming the venue of their press conference in Calabar to express their anguish in retirement.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the chairman of the retirees, Christopher Effiong, regretted that the National Pension Commission, the NPF and the police high command “have bluntly refused to see to the welfare of police retirees.”
Besides protesting that the pension scheme was enforced retrospectively, they listed their other grievances to include “refusal of policymakers who strictly adopted the exemption provisions for military and secret police but ignored to follow suit the implementation of the future commencement to exempt those who had been in service already under the defined benefits scheme before the enactment of the Pension Reform Act 2004 Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the failure by policymakers to domesticate the law to exempt the Nigeria Police Force, which is the leading agency in internal security in Nigeria.”
He alleged: “The amount of money paid to retired police officers as lump sum and monthly pension, portrays an act of a calculated and silent homicide against police retirees who have spent their youthful energy to serve this country under hazardous conditions. A Superintendent of Police is paid N800 million as lump sum after 35 years, and N45,000 monthly as pension while an army major or a DSS equivalent collects N10 million as gratuity and a monthly pension of about N200,000.”
Effiong further claimed: “The reality in Nigeria is that the police suffer the highest death toll as the leading internal security agency in this country and should not be treated with this level of neglect and disdain.
“This treatment is already affecting the morale of some serving members, and scores of our retirees die every year, as they can not raise money to buy drugs or feed their families.”