Several stakeholders have expressed support for the call to exempt personnel of the Nigeria Police from the contributory pension scheme, which into being after enactment of the Pension Reform Act of 2014.
This happened during a public hearing on two pension-related bills on Tuesday, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Pension Matters.
The proposed legislations were; 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 By Providing That A Pensioner Shall Receive At Least 75% Of His Retirement Benefits Immediately Upon Retirement And Criminalise The Undue Delay In The Payment Of Pensions And For Related Matters.
Sponsor of the Bill which seek to exempt the police from the contributory scheme, Hon.Ejiroghene Waive, said operating under the current pension scheme has been both unpalatable and regrettable for the retirees of the Nigerian Police Force. “For example, the highest retirement benefit of a Deputy Superintendent of Police under this obnoxious pension scheme is N2.5m and that of Assistant Superintendent of Police is N1.5m while their equivalent in Army (captain) and DSS are paid N12.8m and N10.3m respectively”, the lawmaker argued.
He noted further that “Upon retirement, the monthly take-home of a retired Police DSP is just N31,600 while that of a Captain an equivalent in the Army is N180,000. While for a Police Inspector is N15,000, a warrant Officer, the Army equivalent to a Police Inspector takes home N120,000. Ladies and gentlemen, what is good for the goose is good for the gander”.
According to him, in these days of insecurity across the nation, exempting the police from the obnoxious Contributory Pension Scheme could just be the magic to motivate officers and men of the force to go the extra mile and save the country.
Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, who was represented by DIG Sanusi Lemu said the Police should get equal treatment with the Armed Forces and other intelligence services, especially as the lead agency, saddled with the responsibility of maintaining internal security, law and order in the country, with attendant risk and sacrifices, including the supreme sacrifice.
Majority of other stakeholders at the public hearing backed the exemption of the police from the scheme, while the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) however opposed the exemption of the Nigeria Police. So also was the opinion of Director General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Hajiya Aisha Dahir-Umar, who noted all the issues could be resolved within the scheme.