There is disquiet in the Police over the retirement package as contained in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
Serving and retired Police officers and men are grumbling about a grim future as a result of low retirement benefits. It is also below their peers’ standards.
They are now pleading with the National Assembly to exit the Police from the CPS policy as it is the case with the military and the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to some documents submitted to committees of the House of Representatives last week, the police expressed regret that the monthly take-home (pension) of a retired Inspector-General of Police under the CPS is N100,000.23
The breakdown of monthly pension stipends of other officers, after 35 years in service, is as follows: Deputy Inspector-General of Police(N89,456.12); Assistant Inspector-General of Police(N82,367.47); Commissioner of Police(N70,269.96); Deputy Commissioner of Police (N61, 526.32); Assistant Commissioner of Police(N49, 300.26); Chief Superintendent of Police(N42, 563.23).
Others are Superintendent of Police(N37,528.36); Deputy Superintendent of Police(N31,600.12); Assistant Superintendent of Police 1(N28,000.02); ASP11(N25.100.26); and Inspector(N15,280.12).
One of the documents obtained by The Nation gave insights into the agitations of serving and retired police officers.
The officers, in the memo to the lawmakers, said: “Arising from the fact that serving and retired Police Officers (hereinafter referred to as Police Officers) are dissatisfied with the retirement benefits applicable to them under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) coupled with the reality that the Armed Forces and the Directorate of State Service have been allowed to exit from the Scheme, there has been a sustained agitation by Police officers seeking to be accorded the same privilege.
“By the express provision of Section 4 of the Police Act, the Nigeria Police is charged amongst others, with the responsibility of performing such military duties within and outside Nigeria as may be required of them by or under the authority of this or any other Act.
“By this provision, the Nigeria Police is the only para-military organisation in Nigeria recognized as such by law. This fact is buttressed by the deployment of police officers, not too long ago, to the theatre of insurgency in the Northeast by the erstwhile Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni.
“Furthermore, the exploits of the Nigeria Police in peace keeping all over the world in conjunction with the Nigerian military eloquently and profoundly attest to this claim and the unique role of the Nigeria Police. There is no gainsaying the fact that there is no civil establishment in Nigeria saddled with such military responsibility other than the Nigeria Police.
“At the inception of the Boko Haram insurgency in Bornu State, it was the Nigeria Police officers and men who confronted the extremists, the result of which was the dastardly attacks on police stations, barracks and offices; and the killing and maiming of officers and men and their families.
“The military only came in to deal with the scourge when the situation assumed a war-like dimension.
“No other security agency was involved then and even now except the Nigeria police
“From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that officers and men of the Nigeria Police are similarly exposed to, and indeed suffer human causalities as the military during such operations.
“There is, therefore, no arguing the fact that whatever entitled the Armed Forces for exemption from the Contributory Pension Scheme should equally apply to the Police.
“Finally, it is worthy of note that the Department of State Service (DSS) is an extraction from the Nigeria Police, being then its Intelligence arm. Even after its extraction, the Nigeria Police, because of the need to continue to perform intelligence gathering duties, established the Criminal Intelligence Bureau performing functions similar to those of the DSS. Therefore, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
“We therefore seek to be exited from the Contributory Pension Scheme by an amendment to Section 5 of the Pension Reform Act, 2014.
“Pursuant to the amendment, there should be a body to be named the Nigeria Police Pension Board established to specifically administer the pension and retirement benefits of members of the Nigeria Police.
“Payment of pension and retirement benefits to members of the Nigeria Police shall be as contained in the Second Schedule to the Pension Reform Act, 2014.”
The Nation also obtained a status report, including implementation plan, on how to push for the Nigeria police to exit from the contributory pension scheme (CPS).
The report came from the committee set up by the National Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria (APRON).
The implementation plan was sequel to the committee’s meeting with some National Assembly members.
The report said in part: “They(the lawmakers) accepted to propose a bill to amend the pension law to exit the Nigeria Police from contributory pension scheme. The committee position paper is a guide to the preparation of the bill by these honourable members of the National Assembly in support of our agitation.
“When this bill is presented to the National Assembly for debate, it requires intensive lobbying to be passed.
“The Police management team or the Committee should not be left alone to lobby for the passage of this bill.
“Appeal to them to support our agitation and lobby the National Assembly to give speedy passage to the bill that will be proposed to amend the pension law to exit Nigeria Police from the contributory scheme.”
A retired Commissioner of Police, who had audience with our correspondent in confidence on the presentation made to the House committees, said: “The Contributory Pension Scheme is murderous. It is a pity that the government and most people treat Nigeria Police Force with disdain. May the Almighty Allah help us very fast.
“Only late Presidents Shehu Shagari and Umaru Yar’Adua did well for the police. The present police emoluments and pensions are discouraging in a nation with security challenges.
“Do you know that a Captain’s salary in the military is more than that of a Commissioner of Police. You can verify.
“I think the best thing is to abolish the Contributory Pension Scheme and return the money to the contributors. When officers and staff of the DSS were removed from the CPS, their contributions were returned in millions of Naira.”
Responding to our question, the ex-CP added: “We made a similar presentation to the 8th National Assembly to exit the Nigeria Police Force from the CPS but it could not go far in considering our demand.”
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