President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja applauded the Nigerian Police Fund Pensions Ltd for instituting a Retirees Resettlement Support Scheme, which will provide financial support for retired police officers, assuring that the Federal Government was fully committed to improving the livelihood of serving officers.
Mr Buhari’s comments come amidst rising violence as the #EndSARS movement gains momentum across Nigeria and beyond.
For the past two weeks, thousands of youth have been on the streets demanding an end to police brutality, disbandment of the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police and comprehensive reforms.
The protests have disrupted activities, with cases of violence recorded in many cities. As of Monday, over 12 deaths have been recorded in the ongoing protests.
The federal government conceded to the protesters by first dissolving the notorious police unit and replacing it with a department known as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team.
The protesters have, however, not yielded ground despite curfews in some states as they continue to occupy the streets and call for other institutional reforms.
‘Police welfare, critical’
The president, who virtually commissioned the new Head Office Building of Nigerian Police Fund Pensions Ltd, said the government was also focused on ensuring that police officers, who served the nation meritoriously, were resettled into retirement, with some financial support.
“To the Nigeria Police Fund Pensions Limited, I wish to applaud your Company for instituting a Retirees Resettlement Support Scheme through which you provide some form of financial support to retired Police Officers to enable them to resettle fully in retirement after meritoriously serving the nation,” Mr Buhari said, according to a statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity).
“Taking your services to the doorstep of Police Officers by maintaining an office in each Police Command and Formation is also very laudable. At this juncture, I urge you to continue your untiring efforts in collaborating with the Police authorities towards improving the welfare of both serving and retired personnel of the Nigeria Police Force.’’
The president commended “the continuous efforts of the Nigeria Police Force, not only for fighting and addressing the emerging internal security challenges, but also in enhancing the welfare of their personnel through their Pension Fund Administration,’’ assuring of more government support.
“This ceremony is a significant milestone for the nation’s pension industry as this New Head Office Building Complex is the first to be purpose-built by Pension Fund Administrator.
“It is noteworthy that for a company that is just six years old, to have achieved this magnificent, befitting edifice, utilizing only its internally-generated revenue, and using wholly indigenous contractors, shows that our efforts in driving fiscal discipline and encouraging patronage of local firms is yielding the desired results.
“To that effect, I praise the consultant who designed the project as well as the contractors that erected this beautiful complex, whom we learnt are both indigenous, as they work to promote and build our economy through the provision of jobs to our teeming youths. I am delighted to hear that during the construction of this project, over 2,000 man-labour were engaged.’’
President Buhari congratulated the Board, Management and entire staff of NPF Pensions Limited for attaining the laudable feat of building a befitting Head Office for the Company.
The president urged the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Police Authorities, and Nigeria Police Force Pensions Limited to maintain their concerted efforts toward achieving improved welfare for police personnel.
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