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Police retirees flay SGF, urge National Assembly to pass pension bill

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
26 September 2022   |   4:06 am
Nigeria Police Retirees have called on the National Assembly to pass the Police Pension Board Establishment Bill to remove the Police from the PenCom Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and ignore the letter from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, urging them not to do so.

Boss Mustapha

Nigeria Police Retirees have called on the National Assembly to pass the Police Pension Board Establishment Bill to remove the Police from the PenCom Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and ignore the letter from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, urging them not to do so.

The SGF had, in a letter, dated July 21, 2022, to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) said: “I write to acknowledge the persistent clamour by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to be exempted from the Contributory Pension Scheme, under the Pension Reform Act, 2004 and the several reasons canvassed to support this request.

“While not being oblivious to the various concerns raised, I refer to the previous position of the then President, conveyed in SGF’s letter Ref. 59149/5.1/C/11/255 dated July 20, 2012, for the Nigerian Police Force to continue to be covered under the Contributory Pension Scheme and to further inform you that the directive has not change.”

But the retirees, in a petition to the National Assembly signed by the Vice Chairman of Delta State chapter, Mr. Bright Kakada; the Federal Capital City chapter Chairman, Mr. Abayimi Akeremale; Chairman Cross River chapter, Mr. Chris Effiong; the Legal Adviser, Elder Ofem Bang and 22 others, made available to some newsmen in Calabar at the weekend, said: “The police should be exempted from the CPS like the Army, DIA, and DSS. We hopefully expect the highly esteemed legislators to hear our cry for undiluted assistance and as such the SGF letter should be ignored.”

They argued that “the legislative function of amending Sec. 5 (1)(a)PRA 2014 to accommodate the NPF by the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) had attained an advanced stage before both chambers went on recess in July 2022, to resume plenary on 20/09/2022.

When contacted, Effiong, the Cross River chapter chairman of the retirees, said: “Our extensive research has proven significantly that the SGF’s letter under reference, addressed to the IGP and copied the DG PenCom, the NASS, PSC and others did not originate directly from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Neither was it written on his instructions as his position on our grievances has been well known before now. The letter in question has no concrete proof for the existence of any Federal Government white paper allowing only the military to opt out of the CPS.”

Similarly, Mr. Ofem, the retirees’ legal adviser, said: “We appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Pension, where the committee eventually recommend our exemption from the PenCom CPS. We are appealing to the National Assembly to ignore the letter from the SGF and proceed with the passage of the bill because he (SGF) has no power to interfere with legislative process of the National assembly.”