Retired police officers in Kwara lament underpayment of gratuities

A group of retired police officers in Kwara has cried out over alleged discrimination and underpayment of their gratuities by the Police Pension Administrator.

At a press briefing on Tuesday in Ilorin, the retirees, led by Mathew Agada and Jacob Aleriwhon, said that the “arbitrary deduction in their gratuities by the pension administrator had led to a growing poverty and cases of untimely deaths among the members”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conveners of the press conference retired between 2017 and 2019.

They called on concerned authorities to ensure that 50 per cent lump sum of their contributory pension was paid to them as against the alleged indiscriminate payment of less than 30 per cent by the police pension administrator.

According to the retired officers, some with contributory pension credit of N9 million, for example, were paid N1.3 million as against N4.5 million that should be the 50 per cent of the sum.

They also called for even payment of their gratuities in line with 50 per cent of their contributory pension, describing such payment of either N800,000 or N1.5 million for someone with N6 million pension as regrettable.

The retired police officers, who included those in inspectorate rank, lamented that most of them had no houses of their own.

Agada said that their monthly pension could not help them manage their lives after retirement.

He said: “The benefit withdrawal consent form/template had within the last 15 years of its operation, especially to police retirees, had been arbitrary, discriminatory, bureaucratic and selectively manipulated by pension commission and police pension department.

“We beg the Federal Government to either repeal the contributory pensions policy of the police or direct the police pension administrator to pay 50 per cent of our pension to all of us that retired from 2017 till date, without delay.

“We want President Buhari to consider the repeal of the police contributory pension policy as done with that of the DSS and the Army, more so as police is the central force and mother of all the forces in the land.

“Payment of our accrued rights is full of discrepancy and ambiguity as retirees of same date of employment, same rank, same promotion and same exit date were paid different sums.

“This situation has left many of us to live in abject poverty as police retirees now receive monthly pension of N15,000 or N20,000.

“Many people have died due to the treatment being meted on us. We now ask if it is a crime to serve our country for 35 years. They should rather pay us off.”