Reps move to exempt Police from contributory pension

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

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A bill to exempt the Nigerian Police Force from the contributory pension scheme has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill is titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014 to Provide for Exemption of the Nigeria Police Force from the Contributory Pension Scheme; and for Related Matters”.

Leading debate on the bill, Mr. Francis Ejiroghene from Delta State said the bill was to reduce the hardship retired police personnel are passing through after service and to motivate the serving personnel to put more effort in securing the nation.

Ejiroghene said while the police pension is meagre compared with other security agencies, the contributory pension is an impediment to their access to benefits.

“This Bill seeks to amend the Section 5, sub-section 1 paragraph (a) Pension Reform Act of 2014, to include the Nigerian Police Force as part of the categories of persons exempted from the Contributory Pension Scheme. Those currently exempted by the Act include, members of the Armed Forces, the intelligence and secret services of the Federation. 

The Nigerian Police was brought under the current pension scheme by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. The then government, which modelled the country’s Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) after the Chilean scheme (Chile Pension Scheme) that exempted both the armed forces and the police from the scheme, unfortunately in adopting the same model brought the police under the Nigerian Pension Scheme while exempting the military and other intelligence agencies,” the lawmaker added.

Contributing to the debate, a member from Kebbi State, Shehu Koko, described the situation of retired police officers in the country is pathetic stressing the need for the country to appreciate their contribution to the security and wellbeing of Nigeria in terms of security.

After the debate, the House passed the bill for second reading and referred it to the House Committee on pensions.

Meanwhile retired police officers also came to the National Assembly waving placards and singing solidarity songs to give their support to the Bill.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

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