The Nigerian Labour Congress NLC, says the restoration of gratuity payment in the public service is the solution to the problems being faced by retirees across the country.
The Union made it’s position known during a public hearing to amend two bills to amend the pension reform Act organized by the house of Representatives committee on pension.
The Bills include a Bill for an Act to amend the pension reform Act by providing that a pensioner shall receive at least 75% of his retirement benefits immediately upon retirement and criminalize the undue delay in the payment of pension.
The second one is a Bill for an Act to amend the pension reform Act 2014 to provide for exemption of the Nigeria Police force from the contributory pension scheme and related matters.
Presenting their position on the two bills, the Representative of the NLC, Comerade Uche Ekwe, argued that exempting some agencies from the pension scheme would be unfair to those agencies that would remain under it.
According to Comerade Ekwe, the restoration of gratuity payment in public service is the only solution to the problems bedeviling the payment of of pension to retirees in Nigeria.
The Deputy Inspector General of police in charge of administration, DIG Sanusi Lemu, who represented the IGP, stated that since inception, the dream for an improved pension scheme for the Nigerian Police has remained a mirage in view of the problems being experienced by retired police officers.
This according to him, in addition to the negative impact on the morale of it’s personal necessitates the need for the exit of the police from the contributory pension scheme.
On her part however, the Director General of the Nigeria Pension Commission, A’isha Dahiru, disagreed with the stakeholders on the calls for the removal of the Nigeria Police Force from the contributory Pension Scheme.
The DG stated that the poor pension being received by the Nigeria Police was as a result of their poor salary scheme.
The Speaker Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by the deputy leader of the house, Peter Akpatason, says the two bills will effect the needed critical intervention of the legislative arm to better the lives of Retirees.
The Chairman, house committee on pension, Kabiru Alhassan, explained that the inputs of the stakeholders present will guide the house in improving the living conditions of senior citizens in Nigeria.