SCORES of retired senior police officers under the aegis Elders’ Club of Nigeria on Wednesday protested in Owerri, Imo State capital, over alleged “paltry payment” of monthly pensions to them by PENCOM.
They, therefore, called on the authorities, including the Federal Government, to immediately disengage PENCOM from paying them.
The retirees also called for corresponding harmonisation of increment in their monthly benefits when there is an increase in salaries of serving policemen.
Briefing The Guardian at the Senior Police Officers’ Mess on their complaint, President General of the group, Moses Ajeka, disclosed that retired Commissioners of Police (CP), Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP), Assistant Commissioners of Police, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), were being paid monthly paltry sums of between N39,000 and N40,000, which he said, could hardly sustain them and their families.
Ajeka wondered why “our immediate family members can only be paid in bulk of millions of naira when we die and not when we are alive. Can’t we enjoy by ourselves the fruit of our hard labour?”
The retired policemen pledged to seek legal redress over the matter if their demand to the authorities on PENCOM was not met.
Questioning the rationale for the payment, Ajeka stated: “We were told to “obey the last order on the PENCOM arrangement”, but we were not consulted. We were surprised when we went for our benefits. They said we would be given 50 per cent of total benefits. Some are given 25 per cent. The least you can see here is ASP and nobody receives more than N40,000 in this current situation. Is it for fueling or feeding or payment of school fees of our children?
“Some of us have benefits of N4 million, N5 million and N6 million in bulk there, but this can only be released to our family members (next of kin) when we are dead. We are asking why?”
He added: “We receive alert from the banks at the end of the month to receive the little amount. We don’t even know who is handling our money.
“The Federal Government should look into our plight. We are appealing to the President, the Inspector General of Police, Chairman of Police Service Commission, Minister of Police Affairs, Senate President, Speaker of House of Representatives, chairmen of Senate and House Committees on Police Affairs and chairman of PENCOM to please see what they can do to pull us out of this PENCOM because we are suffering”.
“We want to live and enjoy the fruit of our labour. Is it an offence that we served meritoriously and retired? On daily basis 100 police officers die, yet we served for 35 years meritoriously and we are suffering this agony”.