Police retirees storm National Assembly over contributory pension scheme
• Reps moves to exempt force from plan
Police retirees have marched to the National Assembly, demanding to exit the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) on account of alleged inequality. They had made similar demand in April this year, where they accused the hierarchy of mismanagement via a petition investigated by the Senate.
Chairman of Cross Rivers State chapter of the Nigeria Police Retirees Under Contributory Pension Scheme, Christopher Effiong, who coordinated the protest yesterday in Abuja, claimed that their pension was being diverted into private pockets.
He lamented that a Police Inspector, after 35 years in service, gets a “paltry sum of N785, 284.40 and takes N22, 000 as monthly pension, while an ASP retiree is currently paid N16, 000 monthly”, a situation he described as homicidal.
“Let them pay us debarment allowance and exit us from the CPS. These are the two requests we want the National Assembly to resolve for us,” Effiong stated.
BESIDES, the House of Representatives is moving to exempt the force from the pension scheme with a view to improving the welfare of its officers.
Leading the debate at plenary yesterday in Abuja on the bill for an Act to amend Section 5, Sub-section 1, Paragraph (a) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 for the exclusion of the force from the scheme, the member representing Ughelli and Udu Federal Constituency of Delta State in the lower legislative chamber, Francis Ejiroghene Waive, regretted that police welfare was nothing to write home about.
Those currently exempted include members of the armed forces and the intelligence and secret services of the federation.
The police were brought into the current pension scheme by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Waive noted that the Obasanjo regime modelled the nation’s CPS after Chile’s, which excluded both the armed forces and the police from the scheme.
He decried that while the police were captured, the military and other intelligence agencies were exempted.
The lawmaker recalled that the Nigeria Police Pensions Limited followed a presidential approval geared at enhancing the welfare of serving and retired officers.
Consequently, the National Pension Commission (Pencom) was in 2012 directed to guide the force towards the establishment of a Nigeria Police Pension Fund Administrator so as to remain within the CPS and address other areas that border on welfare and pension matters.
The lawmaker pointed out that the police, being the frontline security agency in the country, are much more exposed to danger daily than any other of its sister organisations, hence a better deal for officers during and after service.
The bill subsequently scaled second reading and was referred to the relevant committee for further legislative action.