From Oluseyi Dasilva
Police officers who retired from service between May 2017 and the current year, 2018 have called on the Federal Government and the Police authorities to intervene in the alleged mishandling of their pension by the Pension Commission of Nigeria (PENCOM) The retired police officers said that while none of them including those who had retired since last year were yet to be paid their dues from their contributory pension scheme, the PENCOM had decided to reduce by half the lump sum it ought to pay them.
In a press release made available to our correspondent in Ilorin, the retirees disclosed that many of them had died of starvation, some stricken by strange ailments, fallen sick or incurred a lot of debt said the about N1.5m while waiting for their entitlements but what PENCOM wants to pay as lump sums would be too meagre to meet their needs.
The aggrieved retirees wondered why the pension commission would decide to pay, as the lump sum, 25- 30 per cent of their pension whereas, according to them, their predecessors were paid 53 per cent.
One of the retirees, ASP Samuel Anzo who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said that PENCOM did not consult with them or give them privilege of having input into changing agreed terms of the contributory funds as to warrant the reduction about being carried in their expected dues.
The spokesman described the new arrangement as bad alleging that PENCOM is deliberately doing the mischief to achieve a selfish purpose at the expense of the retirees.
He said.: “The order which has been sent to all the 21 pension administrators in Nigeria is too bad. It is wickedness because who knows who among the retirees could live long enough to maximally benign the piecemeal payment of the remaining pension. PENCOM want to use, for their investment, the money the pensioners suffered to save compulsorily during their service year and which they hoped to enjoy immediately after they retire.”
Anzo who said they would not collect the money except it is at least 50 per cent of their pension entitlement called on the federal government Labour union and other relevant organisation to prevail on the PENCOM to rescind its decision.
“We use this medium to draw the attention of President Muhammad Buhari, the Senate and the House of Representatives, Nigeria Labour Congress and all relevant Human Right offices and activist to urgently come to our aid on this issue as PENCOM has finally ordered to pay us peanuts money that could not pay our outstanding debts and pain we have suffered for.
“We, the retirees under the contributory pension commission of Nigeria and all the 21 Pension Fund Administration (PFA) hereby want the Federal Government and all other powerful authorities mentioned above to prevail on the PENCOM not to implement such unjust recent order as it will cause more serious injuries to our lives,” he stated