Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Police officers, who retired from service between May last year and now, have called on the Federal Government 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 any money from their contributory pension scheme, the PENCOM had decided to reduce by half the lump sum it ought to pay them.
The retirees who disclosed that while still waiting to be paid, many of them had died of starvation, fallen sick or incurred a lot of debts, said the about N1.5 million which the PENCOM wanted to pay them as lump sum would be too meagre to meet their needs.
The retirees, who spoke with newsmen, in Ilorin, Kwara State, wondered why the pension commission would decide to pay, as lump sum, 25- 30 per cent of their pension when it was, as they claimed, paying 53 per cent to their predecessors.
ASP Samuel Anzo (rtd), who spoke on behalf of the retirees, said the PENCOM did not consult them or give them any consent form for them to fill as agreeing to the reduction before it carried out the arrangement.
The spokesman described the new arrangement as bad as he alleged that PENCOM deliberately did it 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 entitlements, called on the Federal Government, labour unions and other relevant organizations, 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.