The ongoing debate surrounding the proposed exit of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) from the current Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has taken a new turn. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun has issued a warning against the initiative, urging caution among police officers considering the move.
Although the bill advocating the exit of the Nigeria Police Force from the CPS is awaiting presidential assent after passing through the National Assembly, the IGP is actively working on an alternative package within the CPS framework for police officers.
The IGP emphasized the potential consequences of leaving the scheme, cautioning officers that their pension welfare would be subjected to budgetary allocations managed by politicians. He pointed out that, in the absence of government funds, police pensions might face delays, reminiscent of the challenges faced by retirees before the introduction of the Pension Reform Act 2004.
Addressing the force, the IGP assured officers of his commitment to securing the best pension arrangements for them. He disclosed that he had discussed the issue with President Bola Tinubu, who reportedly supports the idea of the Nigeria Police staying within the existing scheme.
The IGP challenged officers to consider the details of the bill before advocating for an exit. He stressed that a hasty departure without a clear understanding of the alternative could lead to a return to the challenges faced before the introduction of the current CPS.
He stated, “What we should do is to make sure that even if we are going to exit the pension scheme, let us be an outsider.” This possibly implies maintaining the Nigeria Police Force Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) for all police officers, ensuring their pension management remains within the force.
The IGP is reported to be working towards a pension scheme where every police officer retires with their salary, emphasizing the importance of careful consideration before making a decision that could impact the welfare of police retirees.
While confirming the IGP’s statements, an Inspector of Police expressed concern about the impending retirement and the uncertainty surrounding the realization of the proposed pension changes.
The debate over the future of the Nigeria Police Force’s pension scheme continues to unfold, with officers weighing the potential benefits and risks of the proposed exit.
Source: Daily Independent