The Nigerian House of Representatives says the proposed amendments to the Pension Reform Act 2014 would solve the avoidable challenges being faced by retirees in the country.
Speaker House of Representatives, Mr.
Femi Gbajabiamila made the remark at a public hearing on two bills seeking to amend the Pension act to exempt Nigeria Police from Contributory Pension Scheme as well as for retirees to receive 75% of their contribution upon retirement.
Represented by the Deputy House Leader, Peter Akpatason, Mr.
Gbajabiamila expressed concern over the plight of retirees, saying the Bills being considered would provide solutions while improving the pension industry.
Chairman House Committee on Pension, Kabiru AlHassan Rurum from Kano State said ”the public hearing was part of the process of amending the Pension Act and other laws in the coming 1999 Constitution Amendment.
Supporters of the proposed amendments explained that given the contribution of the police in maintaining peace and order in the society as well as to the unity and security, they should be treated alongside sister security agencies that were exempted from the scheme.
The Nigeria Police, Trade Union Congress and the Association of Retired Police Officers cited “the challenges bedeviling the scheme as reasons for the proposed exit.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of administration, DIG Sanusi Lemu, who represented the IGP, stated that since inception, the dream for an improved pension scheme for the Nigerian Police has remained a mirage in view of the problems being experienced by retired police officers.
This, according to him, was “in addition to the negative impact on the morale of it’s personnel necessitates the need for the exit of the police from the contributory pension scheme.
The Pension Commission of Nigeria, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Pension Fund Administrators suggested “reinstatement of Gratuity, increase Salary of police instead of the Police to exit the Scheme.
On her part however, the Director General of the Nigeria Pension Commission, A’isha Dahiru, disagreed with the stakeholders on the calls for the removal of the Nigeria Police Force from the contributory Pension Scheme.
The DG stated that “the poor pension being received by the Nigeria Police was as a result of their poor salary scheme.
They also suggested an improved welfare of officers and men of the Nigeria Police to serve as motivation especially at the time when the country faces numerous security challenges.
Presenting the position of NLC, Mr.
Uche Ekwe, argued that “exempting some agencies from the pension scheme would be unfair to those agencies that would remain under it.
The restoration of gratuity payment in public service is the only solution to the problems bedeviling the payment of pension to retirees in Nigeria.
The bills being considered include Clause to criminalize any delay in pension payment and payment of up to Seventy-Five Percent of employee’s savings.
Pension challenges: Lawmakers insist on Proposed amendments to Pension Act