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Senate passes bill on Police Pension Board

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A bill for the establishment of a police pension board on Thursday scaled second reading in the senate.

The passage of the bill titled “Police Pension Board (Establishment) Bill” by the Senate for a second reading was sequel to the lead debate presented on it by the sponsor, Senator Binos Dauda Yaroe (PDP, Adamawa South), and the 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, Air Force, Department of State Security Services, DSS, Defence Intelligence Agency, DIA, and the National Intelligence Agency, NIA.

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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 showed that the benefit of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, under the current pension scheme is N2.5 million, while the equivalents in the Army (Captain), Navy (Lieutenant), Air Force (Flight Lieutenant) and DSS (Captain) are paid N12.8 million.

This, according to him, means that the Nigerian Police Force is receiving the equivalent of 19.5 per cent of the pension benefits 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 boosting the morale of the serving personnel and equally enhancing 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 the 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 the Nigeria Police Force while in service ahead of a 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.

 

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