Distressed police pensioners have appealed to the Director-General of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate  (PTAD),  Nellie Mayshack to pay their over 10 years pension benefits.

The pensioners, numbering over 5000, are majorly soldiers from the Nigerian Army, who got seconded into the Nigeria Police Force.

Sixty-year-old Inspector, Abu Ekundayo, said he has not been paid his retirement benefits eight years after serving the Nigeria Army and the Police Force for 27 years. He served last with the Lagos State Command, Ikeja, before his retirement on July 1, 2006.

Ekundayo, who spoke with The Nation on behalf of some of his colleagues, said he was planning to go to PTAD office in Abuja.

He said he was receiving salary regularly until he retired in 2006, adding that he and his colleagues had high hope that they would be paid after PTAD’s verification exercise carried out on police pensioners nationwide early this year.

He stressed that following the verification  exercise, PTAD gave them certificate of participation, which included their account number, pensioner verification number, phone number and states.

Ogundare, who said many of them are seriously sick, homeless and hungry, wondered why they have not been paid till now.

He appealed to the PTAD and other relevant authorities to come to their aid.

“I was receiving salary regularly until I retired in 2006 but I have not received my pension since I retired. I have been suffering and partially blind with no money to eat or go to hospital. I have been living a miserable life.

“We are demobilised soldiers, who fought war between 1967 and 1970 before we were asked to join the Nigeria Police Force. We do not deserve this kind of treatment from the country that we have served,” he said.

When asked why and when the police retirees would be paid their pension, Mayshack  said the PTAD has just made some payment into the police pensioners’ account.

She said: “This is good timing. We have just paid this long suffering group, but the Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) payment system may take a day or so to deposit the payment into the bank account of the pensioners. But be rest assured that payment is on its way.

“PTAD has worked extra hard to bring relief to this group of pensioners. We inherited them as a forgotten group, but we are glad that relief is finally here.”

The Police Pension Department (PPD) was initially established by Decree 75 of 1993 as an Extra – Ministerial Department under the Ministry of Police Affairs. The  Department under PTAD now handles the payment of Gratuity and Pension of Police pensioners, who retired on or before 30th June, 2007, while the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) handles the payment of entitlements of Police personnel in the new contributory Pension Scheme through various Pension Fund Administrators.

The administrative structure of the Police Pension Department is made up of both civilian and police personnel headed by a Commissioner of Police, who reports to the Director-General of PTAD.