Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and some stakeholders yesterday have opposed the proposed exemption of para-military organisations from the contributory pension scheme.
The OSGF made its position known at the public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Pension on a Bill to exclude personnel of paramilitary and anti-graft agencies from the contributory pension scheme.
Representative of the OSGF, Mr Roy Ogor, disclosed that the white paper issued by the Federal Government, prohibited all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and paramilitary outfits from pulling out of the contributory pension scheme.
He explained that the provision of the exemption bill contravenes federal government’s position, so it should be jettisoned.
Ogor urged National Assembly to jettison any proposed legislation that could further compound the socio-economic predicaments of the country and Nigerian workers,
He also noted that status quo should be maintained to enable the public and private employers to meet their 18 per cent pension obligations as encapsulated in Pension Reform Act, 2014.
He lamented that public and private employees were currently struggling to comply with the current contribution of 18 per cent as the lingering economic recession affects both public and private employers.
He, however said that rather than the proposed amended which seeks to exempt paramilitary personnel, the Pension Reform Act has provision for increase in pension contribution by employers.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, and other stakeholders have warned against the return of corruption riddled era of Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS).
Dogara urged the committee and all stakeholders at the public hearing to examine the bill critically.
“We are conscious of the fact that the pension industry has become a crucial sector that is playing a formidable role towards the development of the economy in terms of availability of huge investment funds of about N6.4 trillion.”
On his part, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said that the Federal Government had in excess N1.6 trillion pension liabilities under the DBS when the CPS was introduced in 2004.
Chairman, House committee on Pension, Rep. Hassan Shekarau in his remarks, informed the stakeholders that the 33 per cent pension arrears had been paid to personnel of Nigeria Customs Service; Nigeria Prisons Service and Nigerian Immigration Service.
Five Feared Killed In Fresh Kaduna Attack
A Sunday evening attack by gunmen on Unguwan Magaj community in Kauru Local Council of Kaduna State may have left four indigenes dead and 36 homes torched.
But the bravery of the youths reportedly led to the death of one of the attackers and confiscation of his handset.
Useful information was said to have been retrieved from the phone that had allegedly been handed over to the police.
In a statement yesterday, the National Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Biniyat, said: “The invaders, who came by 6:45 pm yesterday (Sunday) from behind the hills that serve as the boundary of Kaduna State and Ganawuri, Plateau State, were numbered over a 100.
“They attacked from four flanks, causing pandemonium among unsuspecting villagers as the youths tried to fend them off.”
He continued: “After about 30 minutes of violence, the following were unfortunately killed: Mrs Hanatu Joseph, 58, mother of five children; Mrs Sarah Sunday, 40, she left behind her husband and six children.
“The others are: Mrs Dije Sajay, 55, married with six children; and Mr Sunday David, 47, married with seven children. He was a retrenched civil servant.”
He noted: “The attackers targeted food stores and bans of grains, making sure they burnt as much as they could. This is to ostensibly cause starvation, especially under this lockdown from the Coronavirus.
“Police and soldiers came into Unguwan Magaji only this morning (yesterday) around 9 am and saw the corpse of the dead herdsman, which they later took away.”
Besides, Biniyat said: “Early this month yesterday, Ibrahim Atiga, 42, a native of Unguwan Magaji, was killed by herdsmen on his way to the farm. He has since been buried.”
COVID-19: Nigerian Correctional Service Receives 2nd Batch Of PPE
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Lagos State Command, yesterday said the state government had released the second batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the service.
The Spokesman of the command, Supt. Rotimi Oladoku, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
The Tide reports that the items donated were hand gloves, face marks, inferred thermometers and sanitisers.
Oladokun said the gesture was part of the preventive measures taken by the state government, especially at custodial centers, to contain the spread of the virus.
“The first set of the PPE was released to the command on March 27 and the command also received the second bath on April 20,” he said.
According to Oladokun, the Lagos State NCoS Controller, Mr Sam Iyakoregha, received the items on behalf of the Controller-General of NCoS, Ahmed Ja’afaru.
“The NCoS thanks the Lagos State government for this tremendous support. The NCoS is well positioned to prevent COVID-19 in the custodial centres,” he said.
I’ll Give Special Attention To Respect For Citizens’ Fundamental Rights – CP …Citizens Set Agenda For Him
The new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mukan has said that he would give special attention to respect for citizens’ fundamental human rights in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni and made available to newsmen last Monday in Port Harcourt .
The statement said that Mr Mukan would rekindle the people’s confidence in the police and as well reposition the command for efficiency and productivity.
According to the statement, the new Police Commissioner would be expected to work with humility and integrity as part of efforts to command a better police force in the state.
It further revealed that the Rivers police boss has an impeccable track record in crime fighting, thus the trust to make good his promises.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, however, through the statement, solicited for cooperation in terms of information sharing from the people in order to help the command to serve them better.
Meanwhile, some members of the public have called on the new Police Commissioner to remain neutral and face his primary assignment of policing.
A Port Harcourt-Based lawyer, Emperor Nnaoma, who spoke in an interview with The Tide , yesterday, said Mr Mukan must pay priority attention to his core mandate of crime fighting, if he wants to succeed in the state.
Nnaoma, recalled that previous Commissioners of Police who went outside their major task never ended well in the state.
In his view, the Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, King Leslie N Eke, said the Commissioner should make out time to check the activities of some of his men who allow themselves into chieftaincy issues in the communities.
The Eze Gbakagbaka/Nyerisi Eli Woji, said that such interference has divided the attention of some police officers in the state as they are always tempted to dance to the tune of their pay masters.
By: King Onunwor
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