Retired police officers protest unpaid pensions at National Assembly

Sharon EboesomiMay 21, 20244 min

The aggrieved retired police officers asked the President Bola Tinubu-led Nigerian government to remove them from the contributory pension scheme.

Retired police officers protest unpaid pensions at National Assembly

Some retired police officers under the contributory pension scheme have stormed the national assembly over seceral months of unpaid pensions.

The retirees who came from chapters to protest at the National Assembly on Tuesday, 21st May, 2024 decried the extreme challenges saying that the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has failed to pay their entitlements for several months causing hardship on them and their families.

The aggrieved retired police officers also wrote a Save Our Soul (SOS) letter to the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, calling for an urgent intervention.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Chairman of the retirees, Christopher Effiong said many of their members have developed a terminal illness and heart attack as a result of the frustration associated with the scheme.

They continued by saying that the sister Bill to exempt the Police Force from the application of the Contributory Pensions Scheme under the CPS 2014.

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In a letter dated May 21 and addressed to Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the retirees said many of them have lost their lives due to the prevailing economic hardship.

We believe that our peaceful and legal approach to this agitation would not be taken for granted by you,” the letter reads.

“We must also appreciate both the members of the Upper and the Lower Chambers who have also painstakingly taken the matter through several sessions of legislative actions spanning investigative hearings, public hearings.

“And passage of the Police Exit Bill from CPS and Police Pension Board Bill in our favour, privately initiated bills by Sen. Elisha Abbo and Hon. Francis Waive of the Senate and House of Representative respectively, in the 9th NASS.

“Sir, permit us to intimate our dear Senate President that the Bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria Police Pension Board to handle Pension matters for personnel of the Force and for connected purposes was passed by the 9th Assembly Senate on Tuesday 5th June, 2023.

“Whereas the sister bill to exempt the Police Force from the application of the Contributory Pensions Scheme under the CPS 2014 and for related matters which public hearing was conducted since 22/02/22 by the House Committee on Pensions of the 9th Assembly, came up in the floor of the 10th Assembly on 23rd November, 2023 for harmonization process but is still pending till date.

“The speedy harmonisation and transmission of these bills to the President for assent become absolutely necessary due to very obvious reasons.

“A few of such reasons is the rate at which Retired police officers die because of hardship caused by the present economic situation in Nigeria.”

Addressing the protesters, the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Yunus Akintunde (APC, Oyo Central), said that the bills the protesters referred to is no longer in existence because it was never assented to.

He urged the protesters to create a committee that will join in the joint meeting to create a link between the National Assembly and the retirees so they would be abreast of the actions being taken to resolve the issue.

He however noted that the National Assembly is working to resolve the issue.

Sharon Eboesomi

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