The Nigeria Police Force have not relented in their efforts to Exit the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), as a Bill has been sponsored in the Senate for the establishment of a Police Pension Board, similar to the Military Pension Board.
Recall that the Nigeria Police Force fought fearlessly during the Public hearing of the Review of the Pension Reform Act 2014, requesting that they should be exempted from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) but their request was rejected by National Pension Commission (PenCom), Pension Operators, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLG) etc, who argued that CPS can solve the challenges of Police Pension.
The Senate on Tuesday, 21 June 2022, considered “A Bill for an Act to Establish the Police Pension Board to handle pension matters for personnel of the Force and for connected purposes, 2022 (SB. 1009) by Senator Elisha Ishaku”
The Bill which was first read on 14 June 2022, scaled second reading at plenary on Tuesday, 21 June 2022 and was sponsored by Sen. Elisha Abbo (Adamawa– North).
Leading the debate on the bill, Abbo noted that the current pension arrangement of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) was under the Pension Commission by virtue of Section 5(1) of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
According to him, the Nigeria police, though a premier law enforcement and security agency, is left on the Contributory Pension Scheme unlike the Army, Navy, Air Force and other security agencies that had their Pension Boards.
“The resultant inclusion and continuous stay of the NPF in PenCom has placed them on the wrong end of the post service emolument life, though the Nigeria police is saddled with the responsibility of not only protecting the lives and property of the citizenry, but also detecting and preventing crimes.”
The lawmaker expressed dismay at the disparities between the pension and gratuity benefits of the police and those of its counterparts in the military.
“A cursory look at the difference between the pension and gratuity benefits of the Nigeria police and her counterpart in the military, shows for example, the benefit of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) under the current Pension Scheme is N2.5 million. That of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) is N1.5 million.
“While their equivalents of DSP in the Army (Captain), Navy (Lieutenant), Air Force (Flight Lieutenant) and the DSS (Captain) are paid N12.8 million and N10.3 million,” Abbo said.
He added that ensuring equity and justice in the payment of pensions would boost the morale of serving personnel as well as enhance the standard of living of the retired personnel of the Nigerian police force.
Supporting Senator Elisha Abbo was Senator Sandy Onuh, who said,
“The way your Police operate is a function of how you treat the Police. These men are not given the kind of dignity and the welfare that they deserve. That is the truth. This case of Pension is not acceptable. Our Police must understand that we care for them.”
“Let me support my Colleague for this very beautiful Bill. I am a member of the Police Committee and I have had cause to sit in meetings where pensioners in police formations have bemoan their plight.”
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan thereafter, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs for further legislative attention. The committee was given four weeks to report back to the chamber in plenary.
Source: Nigeria Senate & NAN
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