On Friday, there was disagreement on the proposed creation of the Police Pension Board among senators, the Police and groups of retired police officers, the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
PENCOM, the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, and the NLC opposed the idea, which was backed by senators, the police, and organisations of retired police officers.
On the strength of a bill sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume, stakeholders have unanimously endorsed the Senate’s proposal to establish the Nigeria Police Special Forces Academy (APC Borno South).
The agreement and disagreement on the establishment of Police Pension Board happened during the Public Hearing held on the bill sponsored for that purpose by Senator Elisha Abbo (APC Adamawa North).
Speaking at the public hearing, the Inspector -General of Police, Alkali Baba represented by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Sanusi Lemu, said the Police required a distinct board on its own for management and administration of pensions of retired Police personnel in the mode of the Military Pension Board.
He said: “The Police as clearly stated by the title of the bill “Police Pension Board Establishment Bill 2022,” deserved to have a separate body for management and administration of Pensions of its retirees .
“Exiting the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), being run and managed by PENCOM, is long overdue for the Police on account of poor services being subjected to .
“The proposed board, will boost the morale of Police Personnel to dispassionately discharge their duties of fighting crimes.”
In their renarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Dauda Haliru Jika, sponsor of the bill, Senator Elisha Abbo and Senator Ali Ndume, said the Police deserved to be given special treatment being enjoyed by the Military with a special pension board.
They, however, face opposition when the Director-General of PENCOM, Aisha Dahiru who said allowing the Police to exit CPS, will amount to taking the country back to the dark ages of mismanagement of pension fund which landed the country with N1.6trillion liabilities in June 2004 when the scheme started.
Also opposing the proposal, the Chief Executive Officer of Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Oguche Agudah, admonished the committee and by extension the Senate, not to legislate liabilities .
He said since the proposed body will be solely funded by budgetary allocations, adding that avoidable burden will be placed on the federal government currently battling with N10.7trillion budget deficit in 2023 fiscal year .
He said: “We cannot in good faith, legislate liabilities.”.
In his presentation while opposition the proposal, the President of NLC, Ayuba Waba insisted on prompt payment of gratuities of retired police personnel or those who died in active service .
He said the proposed Police Pension Board is well envisioned but the problem is sustainability as regards funding, saying “the mistake of moving from known to unknown, should not be made.
The Senate Committee on Police Affairs is however, expected to present its report to the Senate when it reconvene next week Tuesday.