By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Nigeria Police retirees under the contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, over their plights and grievances under the scheme.
The aggrieved retirees in their numbers carrying placards which read, “FGN,:Exempt police retirees from Pencom, what a pity, after 35 years, I could not have a shelter and Police pay police their promotion arrears” stormed the venue of the press conference to express their agonising plight after retirement.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the chairman, Mr.. Christopher Effiong, regretted that the National Pension Commission, the NPF and the Police authority have bluntly refused to see to the welfare of police retirees.
He stated their grievances to include, that the law that establishes the Contributory Pension Scheme was enforced retrospectively, that it is expected that the Pension Reform Law would have taken effect from 2004 with those who entered the workforce from that same time, and that in Nigeria, the Pension Reform Act 2004 did not take into consideration those who had been in public service under the Defined Benefits Scheme. This is against the provision of Section 173(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended).
Others include the refusal of policy makers who strictly adopted the exemption provisions for military and secret police but ignored to follow suit the implementation of the future commemencement 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, failure by policy makers to domesticate the law to exempt the Nigeria Police Force who is the leading agency in internal security in Nigeria.
Also, he said, “the amount of money paid to retired police officers as lump sum and monthly pension, portray an act of 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 a paltry sum of Three million Maura as lump sum after 35 years, and N45,000 monthly as pension while army Major or a DSS equivalent collects N10 million as gratuity and a monthly pension of about N200, 000.
Effiong said that “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, adding that “scores of our retirees die every year”.
He also called on the police authority to implement the 2017 and 2018 arrears of promotion of retirees as contained in the IGP’s letter: No. SH. 4730/FS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.4/327 dated 28/02/2017.
Speaking on the issue of National Housing Fund, Effiong described as it affects retired police officers as a scam while calling on the authority for the refund of Fokas shares where officers were made to contribute #11,000 compulsorily monthly.
He called on Mr. President to come to their aid by directing for the payment of retirement benefits, promotion arrears, housing fund as well as the Fokas Shares to those who c9ntributed to the fund.
By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar