By Tony Akowe, Abuja
The House of Representatives is to investigate the failure of the management of Police Pension to meet the monthly payment of pension and timely payment of gratuities to retiring police officers.
Adopting a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Rep. Ali Adeyemi Taofeek on the need to investigate the Nigeria Police Force Pension Limited for failure to meet its pension and gratuity obligations, the House asked its committee on Police Affairs to carry out a thorough investigation and report back to the House for further legislative action.
He warned that if nothing was done to address the situation, retired police officers may take advantage of the security challenges in the country to create problems in the country.
Rep. Taofeek said that the reform of the Police Pension started with the incorporation and operation of the NPF Pension Limited in October 2013, aimed at addressing deficiencies inherent in the Contributory Pension Scheme, peculiar to the Police Force.
He listed the peculiarities to include reconciliation of personnel data crucial to obtaining pension contributions from the CBN and effectively managing critical welfare issues such as Group Life Assurance and Health Insurance Scheme.
According to him, after the incorporation of the NPF Pension Limited, the National Pension Commission directed existing Pension Fund Administrators to move N305 billion Police Pension Assets to the NPF Pension Limited.
He disclosed that employers pension contributions of N15.8 billion, N16.6 billion, N16.6 billion and N19.7 billion were paid by the Federal Government from 2015 to 2019 respectively to the NPF Pension Limited as government contributions.
He expressed concerned that despite the PENCOM regulatory supervision, there are various pending fraud cases currently in court instituted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against officials of NPF Pension Limited.
He disclosed that many police retirees have started protesting to the police hierarchy about the reduction of their entitlements while others have since joined the bandwagon of pensioners who don’t receive their monthly pensions and gratuities in full and as at when due.
He stressed that the retired officers who are being short-changed after their services to the nation may resort to taking advantage of the loopholes in the security architecture of the country, which they are aware of, to perpetrate mischief for pecuniary gains to feed their families.