Andy Esiet, Calabar
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have rejected the recently announced “Enhancement of Monthly Pension Payment” by the Director General (DG) of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar.
The DG had recently claimed that “pension enhancement is a means of adjusting the periodic income of retirees against the erosion of their pension by inflation” as well as “solves the problem of low pensions” and it cuts across all shades of retirees under the CPS.
But the retirees in a petition made available to some newsmen yesterday in Calabar and signed by Chairman, Police Retirees under CPS, CRS chapter, Mr. Chris Effiong, Chairman, FCT Chapter, Mr. Abayomi Akeremale, the Legal Adviser Elder Ofem O. Mbang, Chairman, Delta State Chapter, Mr Emmanuel Kwekaogwu, General Secretary, Dr. Augustine Peter and 21 others on behalf of themselves and all NPF retirees under the CPS to the National Assembly, said this new policy is a reinforcement of PenCom’s “strategic policies of accelerated untimely deaths and Neo-colonial, slavish economic strangulation of NPF Retirees under the CPS in a new garb “beautifully” christened “Enhancement of Monthly Pension payment.”
However, “NPF retirees under the CPS isolate themselves from accepting the enhancement because it is found to be a mere window dressing strategy as it does not address the fundamental hardship that NPF retirees are experiencing in retirement life. That is why it is imaginary”. Contrary to reports in some national dailies that the policy was to boost retirees pensions, the NPF retirees said “this is indeed, a make-belief assertion meant to divert attention from the actual effect of the CPS on NPF retirees conscripted into it against every known sensitisation and good conscience. If the CPS in concrete terms constituted a clear and positive departure from the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) as claimed by the DG PenCom, the Army, DIA, NIA and DSS would not have opted out of it.
“There is no such attractive enhancement in the pension scheme and there is no way it can outlive the pattern of the DBS in which pensioners mandatorily earn 300% of their last gross annual salaries as gratuity and 80% of a retiree’s terminal salary as pension. This even includes basic salary, housing and transport allowances, to mention a few, not found anywhere in the killer CPS”.
It has to be known that PenCom has visited the PRA 2014 with breaches that make NPF retirees under the CPS to be seen as derelicts of the society who do not deserve sustainable pension for their wellbeing in retirement. A situation where NPF retirees under the CPS receive between N500.00 and N4,000.00 as monthly pension differential depending on the rank at retirement is laughable. Whereas it remains an indisputable fact that the NPF is the first respondent security agency in Nigeria.
As a matter of fact, it has been only in the week effectively from 15/02/2023 that a handful of retired NPF officers under the CPS received sms on this so-called pension enhancement for a monthly N400.00; N500.00;
N900.00; N1,000.00, N2,000.00, N3,000.00 and N4,000.00 respectively as their enhanced pensions which are likely to be representative of what the DG PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar will push into the pension accounts of NPF retirees under the CPS. See the table below:
PENCOM ENHANCEMENT FOR RETIRED POLICE OFFICERS UNDER
CONTRIBUTORY PENSION SCHEME (CPS)
|S/No||Rank||N a m e||Date of Retirement||Monthly Pension at Retirement||Monthly Pension after Enhancement||Increment|
|1.||Rtd CSP||Benjamin Akande||2008||N52,407.92||N56,408.93||N4001.01|
|2||Rtd CSP||John Madaki||1/7/2009||N48,190.61||N51,190.61||N3000.00|
|3||Rtd CSP||Felix Nwatu||1/3/2016||N51,940.37||N55,734.33||N3794.00|
|4||Rtd CSP||Obeten Uket||1/6/2017||N48651.47||N48,862.02||N210.53|
|5||Rtd SP||Inok Joseph||2016||N46,661.97||N52,434.31||N5772.34|
|6||Rtd SP||Franklin Iwuoha||1/2/2017||N44,000.00||N45,000.00||N5,000.00|
|8||Rtd SP||Oka Paulinus Iwara||2017||N44078.04||N48,274.04||N4206.00|
|9||Rtd DSP||Peter Augustine||1/11/2017||N39,470.02||N39,972.02||N500.00|
|10||Rtd DSP||Ishaya Joji||1/11/2018||N42,780.00||N44,980.00||N1,125.24|
|11||Rtd DSP||Timothy Olumo||1/3/20||N43,780.00||N44980.00||N1,200.00|
|12||Rtd DSP||Michael Offiong||1/5/2018||N40,000.00||N43,000.00||N3,000.00|
|13.||Rtd DSP||John Jeremiah||2016||N40,000.00||N43,000.00||N3,000.00|
|14.||Rtd DSP||Omoju Lazarus Adadu||1/2/2018||N40,018.00||N41,218.00||N1,208.00|
|15||Rtd DSP||Mbang Ofem||1/2/2018||N41,333.33||N42,364.37||N1,034.04|
|16.||Rtd ASP||Fadama Yahanna||N35,955.00||N37,080.24||N1,125.24|
|17.||Rtd ASP||Inyang Eko Peter||1/3/2018||N27,182.14||N27,492.06||N300.00|
|18.||Rtd ASP||Chidi Nwauguma||1/3/2017||N20,000.00||N20,300.00||N300.00|
|19.||Rtd Inspr||John U. Ayim||1/3/2017||N21,356.59||N23,356.59||N2,000.00|
They argued that “so far, the so-called pension enhancement payment has been deceitfully selective as not up to ten NPF retirees under the CPS have received the ear-aching peanut. From a cursory look at these paltry sums called pension enhancement, the question is whether these exceptional peanuts are sufficient to address the effect of inflation on the pensions of NPF retirees under the CPS as well as solve the problem of about 20 years low pension for the retirees under reference”.
In the first place, the ineffective pension enhancement is skewed in favour of programmed withdrawal (PW)
On the DG PenCom’s CPS safeguards, they said it is contradictory as “every sane mind should dismiss the DG PenCom’s CPS safeguards as a hoax meant to deceive the National Assembly Legislators, Nigerians and the world at large whereas lots of fraudulent activities have been perpetuated despite the safeguards and the CPS is a death trap that keeps eroding the lives of NPF retirees under the CPS on a daily basis with reckless abandon. And over 20 persons have died in past one year”.
On the excess profit on investment the PenCom pays to government as a revenue generating agency unsolicited to government, the retirees said it was unnecessary as such money to make any economic meaning to NPF retirees under the CPS in particular, “it ought to have been used to shore up the meager monthly pension payment and not to be given to government as a gift that was not solicited for. But this is not the case. It has been abject poverty, starvation and daily untimely deaths of NPF retirees under the CPS” .