Retired Nigerian Police officers have gathered in front of the National Assembly, Abuja to protest against the Contributory Pension Scheme.
The retired officers gathered at the venue to drive home their demands for improved retirement benefits.
Part of their request is that the Nigerian Police Force be withdrawn from the Contributory Pension Scheme just as their counterparts in the army and other sister security agencies.
According to them, after 35 years of dedicated service to the nation, the monthly take-home of a retired officer under the said scheme is very poor.
They also stated that the pension scheme is not only affecting retired officers negatively but also other civil servants who are retired.
One of the officers said, “We are here from different parts of the country, we are the Nigeria Police Force retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme. My name is Uwem. We are here because we feel cheated since we retired from the Nigeria Police Force. Our major problem is that by the time we were enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force; we were under the Retirement Benefits Scheme but along the line, in 2004, they introduced what they called Contributory scheme and by that time we have served for up to 20 years and above.
“Some have served for up to 30 years yet on retirement, what we were paid was just peanuts. We have complained and written several times but no positive action has come up. That’s why today, we repeat what we have done on April, 28 in which you addressed us and promised that the Senate will do something about it. Thereafter, you sent a letter inviting us for an interactive session and that was done. Also, you asked us to set up a committee to see how to amend section 5a of the 2014 Pension Act. That has not been done till today.
“Instead, we got a letter that a committee would be constituted to do that, yet from that June till now, nothing has been done. Rather some retired officers were saying that we said we were comfortable with the Contributory Pension Scheme and we never said so.
“Today, we have another issue we want to talk about which is the deferment allowance. It is the one that is paid to officers trained on various skills like the issue of arms and ammunition, like acquiring dangerous skills that can be used against the state. Our men were trained on this and now that they are retired, those benefits should be paid off. They can easily use those skills against the state. That’s why we are here. Today, we have 27 states here; it is now a national issue. No one here will say he is comfortable with the Contributory Pension Scheme.
“When I retired as a Superintendent of Police, I was paid N42,000. I was even lucky, some of those who retired earlier than I received N20, 000 as CSPs in the Nigerian Police Force. We know the National Assembly can help us because the DSS, Army and others were removed from this scheme in 2014. We are aware of that; we cannot wait for the police because we know they are benefitting from this scheme. That’s why we plead with you, sir. Please help us.”
Some members of the National Assembly addressed the protesting officers promising to look into the issue.
Saharareporters, New York