From Victor Seyi, Ilorin
Members of the Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria (ARPON) yesterday took to the streets of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, protesting against the National Pension Commission, National Housing Fund and National Health Insurance Scheme over alleged
The police retirees started off from the Government Day Secondary School (GSS) round about to Pencom and National Housing Funds offices, state House of Assembly, Government House and ultimately ended at the Police headquarters to register their grievances.
The placard-carrying retirees urged the authorities to “either redress this injustice or refund the balance of our money that is being managed by pension funds administrators.”
Addressing journalists in Ilorin, the state Chairman of ARPON, Yakubu Abdul (CSP) said that “the non-refund of contributions into National Housing Funds after either 60 years of age or 35 years in service is quite worrisome.”
He added: “Some of our members who retired in 2010, 2011 and 2012 till date are
yet to receive their legitimate refund. All necessary documents have been processed through the Nigeria Police Force which made deductions at source. Now that we have retired before collection of housing loan advance, why the unnecessary delay in refunding our money?”
Mr. Abdul added that the retired policemen and their families enjoyed the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) when they were in active service. “We are now surprised that this health service has been cut-off from police retirees, while our colleagues in other sister agencies are enjoying it till date. Why the discriminatory treatment?” he
He continued: “Retired police officers on contributory pension scheme were paid on rank on verification instead of rank promoted before retirement; this trend has denied many of our members the opportunity of being paid their accurate gratuity or pension.
“As a result of this, police contributors to this scheme have found it difficult to define their income at retirement. They are often face with difficulties to rectify this anomaly and thereby remain short-changed.
“Retired police officers under contributory pension scheme from 2010 are being paid 25 per cent lump sum while federal government agencies enjoy 50 per cent payment as lump sum. This disparity needs to be addressed to favour all.
“There should be a definite arrangement for pensioners under contributory pension scheme to draw pension till death like our counterparts in the old scheme. The pension fund administrators are talking between 10 and 18 years period as their mandate.”