A bill to amend the Reform Pension Act has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill, sponsored by Francis Waive (APC, Delta), seeks to amend Section 5, Sub-section 1 Paragraph (a) of the principal Act by removing police from the Act.
It was debated and passed for second reading on Tuesday during plenary.
The principal act exempted the Armed Forces, the intelligence and secret services of the Federation from the Contributory Pension Scheme.
If passed, the NPF will be exempted from the contributory pension scheme.
In his lead debate, Mr Waive said the Act has created a great disparity between the NPF and other security agencies.
The lawmaker said that Chile, which Nigeria copied the CPS from, exempted police from the scheme.
He noted that the police “operating under the current pension scheme has been both unpalatable and regrettable for the retirees of the Nigerian Police Force.”
“The highest retirement benefit of Deputy Superintendent of Police under this obnoxious pension scheme is N2.5m and that of Assistant Superintendent of Police is N1.5m while their equivalent in Army (captain) and DSS are paid N12.8m and N10.3m respectively.”
He added that the bill will “ensure proper remuneration at retirement and also make room for improved welfare for serving police officers. This in turn will serve as a positive motivation for better service delivery. A well-motivated Police Force is likely to be an efficient and more productive Police force.”
Speaking in support of the bill, the Deputy Majority Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia), described the current disparity as unacceptable.
“It is unacceptable that a deputy superintendent of police would be getting N1.5 million as pension and his counterpart in the army like a captain will be getting N12.8 million in the same country. It is unacceptable no matter the way you look at it. It is one piece of legislation that we should have done like yesterday.
“I do not want to believe that at this particular time that police will be treated differently. This is one piece of legislation that all of us should give urgent attention and I don’t think we should be sentimental about this.”
Shehu Koko, the Chairman House Committee on Air Force, who is a retired policeman, said an Inspector General of Police gets about N200,000 monthly after retirement.
“Mr Speaker I urge you for the sake of God, for the sake of this country, for the sake of the security we are hearing every day, every hour, to assist police officers who have served this country diligently. I spoke with the IGP last two weeks, the former IG; he is collecting N200,000 pension. When we look at other service chiefs, I know they collect more.”
Speaking against the bill, Uzoma Abonta (PDP, Abia), said the House should focus on reforming the pension scheme instead of removing the police from the scheme.
Despite the argument by Mr Abonta, the bill was passed unanimously when the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, put it to vote.
It was referred to the House Committee on Pension by the Speaker for more legislative action.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...