Senate Passes Bill on Police Pension Board

The long-standing aspiration of the Nigeria Police Force to have an exclusive pension board, similar to that of the military, gained significant momentum on Thursday with the Senate passing a bill to this effect for its second reading. The bill, titled “Police Pension Board (Establishment) Bill,” was advanced following a lead debate by its sponsor, Senator Binos Dauda Yaroe (PDP, Adamawa South), and an extensive discussion by numerous senators.

In his lead debate, Senator Yaroe highlighted the disadvantages faced by members of the Nigeria Police Force under the current contributory pension scheme managed by the Pension Commission (PENCOM). He pointed out that unlike other key security agencies such as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of State Security Services (DSS), Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the police are grouped with other public agencies under this scheme.

Senator Yaroe provided a comparative analysis of the pension and gratuity benefits, showing significant disparities between the Nigeria Police and their counterparts in the military. He noted that a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) under the current pension scheme receives N2.5 million, whereas equivalent ranks in the Army (Captain), Navy (Lieutenant), Air Force (Flight Lieutenant), and DSS (Captain) are paid N12.8 million. This stark difference, he argued, means that the Nigeria Police Force is receiving only 19.5 percent of the pension benefits of their peers in other security agencies.

“The broad objective of this bill is to bring equality, equity and justice in the payment of pensions between the police and her sister agencies while boosting the morale of the serving personnel and equally enhancing the standard of living of retired personnel of the Nigerian Police Force.”

“The inclusion and continuous stay of the NPF in PENCOM has placed them on the wrong end of post-service emolument life despite being saddled with the responsibility of not only protecting the lives and property of the citizenry but also detecting, preventing and investigating crimes as well as prosecuting offences,” he said.

Virtually all the senators who contributed to the debate on the bill supported it and urged the Senate to fast-track its consideration and passage.

In his remarks after the bill scaled second reading through voice vote, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Jibrin Barau, who presided over the session, said the intended legislation was very necessary for boosting the morale of men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force while in service ahead of a prosperous retirement life.

“The bill is very important. The police is our number one law enforcement entity and so we need to do all that is required to take care of them in respect of their pension.”

“They lay down their lives while we are asleep; they are awake to protect us and our properties, so we need to do our best in terms of their pension.”

“It is quite good, as suggested, that their pension should be in line with what is applicable in other sister agencies. What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander,” he said.

He thereafter mandated the Senate Committee on Police Affairs to make more legislative inputs into it and report back in four weeks.