The IGP said the lives of serving officers, men, and retirees of the Force were not any better with the present contributory pension scheme, therefore seeking the exit of the Police Force from the CPS. This was disclosed at a public hearing in the House of Representatives on two pension proposals to amend the necessary parts of the Pension Act of 2014 to exit the police from the CPS.
The two bills presented are A Bill For An Act To Amend The Pension Reform Act, 2014 To Provide For The Exemption Of The Nigeria Police Force From The Contributory Pension Scheme And For Related Matters and A Bill For An Act To Amend Sections 1(C), 7(2), 8(1), 18, 24, and 99 Of The Pension Reform Act, Cap P50 LFN 2014 To Provide That A Pensioner Shall Receive At Least 75 Percent Of His Retirement Benefits Immediately Upon Retirement And To Criminalize The Undue Delay In The Payment Of Pensions And For Related Matters.
The IGP, who was represented by Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanusi Lemu, stated that the Nigeria Police Force’s leadership was convinced that the proposed amendment would not only significantly address the force’s long-standing challenges with pension administration, but would also be in the best interests of all members of the force, including serving and retired officers.
However, in a related development, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has reacted to the Police seeking withdrawal from the CPS saying it is unnecessary and such agitation can be resolved administratively.
“The Federal Government has successfully brought transparency and efficiency through the CPS. As a result, the attempt to have the Police leave did not begin today, and it has been a repeated theme.
“The reason for the agitation is that the level of compensation payable to retired officers of the force is minimal, thus it is a minor issue that an increase in wages can resolve, she explained.
In reacting to the second bill which seeks to amend Sections I (C) 7 (2) 8 (1) 18, 24 and 99 of the PRA CAP50 LFN 2014 providing that a pensioner shall receive at least 75 per cent of his/her retirement benefits immediately upon retirement, she said such proposal is contrary to the provision of the 1999 Constitution.
“Section 173 of the 1999 Constitution as amended says everyone who has worked and retired is entitled to periodic payment and the second bill goes contrary to the constitution,” she stated.