National Assembly: Retired Police Officers Protest Over Unpaid Pensions

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Retired Police Officers of Nigeria have stormed the National Assembly in protest over months of unpaid pensions.

The retirees representing various states lamented the severe hardships faced due to the failure of the National Pension Commission to pay them.

The retired police officers appealed to the Federal Government to exempt them from the contributory pension scheme.

Speaking with newsmen during the protest, Christopher Effiong, a retired Superintendent of Police and national coordinator of the protest said they are at the National Assembly Complex to press forward their agitation.

Offiong, who is also the Chairman of the Cross River State Chapter of Police Retirees said the agitation had been with the National Assembly for the past three years.

“We agitated that we should be exempted from contributing to pension schemes such as their counterparts from other security agencies like armed forces and other intelligence communities. This scheme has sent a lot of our retirees to the grave”.

We have a bill here, a Bill to exit the contributing pension scheme, that Bill has been here for over two years, it has passed the first reading and second reading, and we came here for the public hearing, but till today, nothing is happening, not is done. We are dying, we cannot feed our families”  he said.

Addressing the aggrieved protesters, the Vice Chairman, of Senate Common Police Affairs, Senator Yinusa Akintunde, who sympathized with retired police personnel, said the National Assembly is currently holding a meeting with Police authorities to resolve the problem.

“We thanked you sincerely, what you are doing this morning is a legal means of expressing your feelings. You are trying to let the nation know the situation of the police retirees and there is no crime in what you are doing this morning, you are exercising your right. Let me inform you, that the truth is that, as of this morning, we met twice, the committee of the National Assembly and the Committee of the IG, and the bill you are talking about is 9th Assembly bill, is no more in existence as of today, because it was never assented to, but some arrangements are on to resolve the problem.You are fathers, brothers, and mothers, we cannot allow you to suffer, we are going to meet with some of you now to find a way out,” Senator Akintunde said.

During the protest, they displayed placards with messages such as “NPF pension defrauding police retirees, SOS”, “Police officers are dying in penury under the contributory pension scheme”, and “CPS is a death sentence against the police!”

This is not the first time police retirees have protested.

In September 2021, retired officers from about 27 States stormed the National Assembly in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, demanding their pension payments.

 

Lantana Nasir

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