Retired Police Officers Protest Unpaid Pensions At NASS

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Protesting retired police officers under the contributory pension scheme, yesterday stormed the National Assembly, Abuja over several months of unpaid pensions.

The retirees representing various state chapters lamented the severe hardships they faced due to the failure of the National Pension Commission to pay their entitlements.

Therefore, the retired police officers urged the federal government to remove them from the contributory pension scheme.

Speaking with newsmen during the protest, national coordinator, Mr Christopher Effiong, who retired as a superintendent of police said they are at the National Assembly Complex to press forward their agitation that has been with the legislature.

Effiong, who is also the chairman of Cross River State Chapter of Police Retirees said their demand had been with the National Assembly for the past three years.

“We agitated that we should be exempted from contributory 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 to exit the contributory pension scheme. The Bill has been here for over two years, it has passed first reading, second reading, we came here for a public hearing, but till today, nothing is happening, nothing is done. If it is a conspiracy by the Nigerian government to kill us, then let us die here. We are dying, we cannot feed our families”, he said.

Addressing the aggrieved protesters, the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Yinusa Akintunde, who sympathized with the retired police personnel, said the National Assembly is currently holding a meeting with police authority to resolve the problem.

“We thank 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, 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 the 9th assembly bill. It 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, mothers, we cannot allow you to suffer. We  are going to meet with some of you now to find a way out”, 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 police!”

 

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