By Ifeanyi Ugwuadu
The chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade has expressed concern over the shabby treatment of retirees by NICON Insurance, one of the pension fund managers of the agency.
He identified bureaucratic bottlenecks, over centralization, delayed payment and unfriendly relations as the bane of retirement life. The agency also honoured the retirees while five officers that died 2004 in the course of duty in Kano State got posthumous Awards for valour from the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association (INEOA).
Giade who spoke at a farewell dinner for the retired management staff of the agency in Lagos last week noted that while every employee looked forward to a happy, peaceful and stress- free retirement life, NICON Insurance has made life a nightmare for the agencyâ€™s retirees. He, however, commended Stanbic-IBTC Pension managers for offering better services.
â€œThe challenge is becoming worrisome. The NDLEA boss berated NICON for poor quality service rendered adding, â€œit was not encouraging.â€ The condition of the officer is even worse once he retires from service because he is expected to liaise with the pension managers for his benefits from whichever location in the country. â€œNo matter his location, he is expected to go to Pension Commission in Abuja because of the centralized process. This problem must be addressed to make life pleasurable for retirees,â€ Giade stressed.
The farewell dinner and award ceremony was a platform for the agency to appreciate the sterling contribution of its founding fathers. According to the NDLEA boss, â€œit is our way of saying that though out of the system, the system still remembers your immeasurable contribution. We appreciate your time, energy and genuine effort of laying a solid foundation of one of Africaâ€™s best anti-narcotic outfits. Keeping contact with you is to start a tradition of excellence that will outlive all of us.â€
Ten retired management staff were honoured including the immediate past Director- General of the agency, Mr. Dave Ashang.
The agencyâ€™s current Director of Administration and Finance, Dr. Daniel Shaga Ismaila and Assistant Commander of Narcotic (ACN) Sadiq Sani Abubakar (retired) also received awards from the INEOA for their outstanding performance in the seizure of 14.2 metric tonnes of cocaine seized at the Tin Can Island port in 2006. Post- humous Awards of Valour and medals were also presented to next of kin of five officers of the NDLEA that were killed in Kano in 2004. The INEA has equally pledged a scholarship fund of not less than a thousand dollars each to the relatives.
The Director-General of the agency, Asiwaju Lanre Ipinmisho thanked the retirees for serving their country diligently and meritoriously. â€œThe agency is honouring you today because of your forthrightness and dedication to the anti-drug campaign. You fought gallantly and upheld your integrity, that is why we are here to celebrate your contribution and seek your continuous support,â€ Ipinmisho stated.
The erstwhile D-G, Dave Ashang who spoke on behalf of the retirees said that they were overwhelmed with the honour and promised to support the agency as life stakeholders.
The representative of the late officers, Alhaji Alhassan Alhassan expressed their appreciation for the continuous support they have been receiving from the NDLEA.
Alhassan who dedicated the awards to the agency and the country noted with delight the prompt payment of the officersâ€™ gratuity within 40 days.