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Hope rises for Police as Senate Passes Bill on Pension Board

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IGP Kayode Egbetokun

The age long wish of the Nigeria  Police Force  , to have an exclusive Pension Board like the military outfits , got a boost Thursday in Senate with passage of a bill to that effect for second reading.
Passage of the bill, titled: “Police Pension Board (Establishment) Bill, by the Senate for second reading, was sequel to lead debate presented on it by the sponsor, Senator Binos Dauda Yaroe (PDP Adamawa South) , and exhaustive debate made on it by many senators .
Senator Yaroe in his lead debate said men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force , are   disadvantaged by being lumped with other public agencies under the contributory pension scheme , managed by the Pension Commission ( PENCOM) , unlike other frontline  security agencies like the Army , Navy , Airforce , Department of State Security Services ( DSS , Defense Intelligence Agency ( DIA) and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
According to him, a cursory look at the difference between the pension and gratuity benefits of the Nigeria Police and her counterpart in the Military , shows that the benefit of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) under the current pension scheme is N2.5million , while the equivalents of DSP in the Army (Captain), Navy (Lieutenant), Air Force (Flight Lieutenant) and DSS (Captain), are paid N12.8million.
This according to him , means that the Nigerian Police Force is receiving equivalent of 19.5% Pension benefit of their colleagues in the sister agencies.
“The broad objective of this bill , is to bring equality , equity and justice in the payment of pensions between the Police and her sister agencies while boasting the morale of the serving personnel and equally to enhance the standard of living of retired personnel of the Nigerian Police Force.
“The inclusion and continuous stay of the NPF in PENCOM , has placed them on the wrong end of post service emolument life despite being saddled with the responsibility of not only protecting the lives and property of the citizenry but also detecting , preventing and investigating crimes as well as prosecuting offences “,:he  said.
Virtually all the Senators who contributed to debate on the bill , supported  it and urged the Senate to fast track its consideration and passage.
In his remarks after the bill scaled second reading through voice vote , the Deputy President of the Senate , Senator Jibrin Barau who presided over the session , said the intended legislation was very necessary for boosting the morale of men and officers of NPF , while in service ahead of prosperous retirement life.
“The bill is very important. The Police is our number one law enforcement entity and so, we need to do all that is required to take care of them in respect of their pension.
“They lay down their lives while we are asleep; they are awake to protect us and our properties, so we need to do our best in terms of their pension.
“It  is quite good, as suggested, that their pension should be in line with what is applicable in other sister agencies. What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander”, he said.
He thereafter , mandated the Senate Committee on Police Affairs , to make more legislative inputs into it and report back in four weeks time .
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