Lagos - The Nigeria Police on Thursday presented cheques worth N53 million under the Police Life Insurance Scheme to families of 40 officers who died in active duty in Zone 2 Command.
The zone comprises of Lagos and Ogun states.
Presenting the cheques, the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Solomon Arase, represented by AIG Bala Hassan, who heads the zone, said the gesture was in fulfillment of the police life insurance policy.
Arase explained that the scheme was put in place to alleviate the suffering of the family members of the deceased personnel who either died or sustained near fatal injuries in the course of duty.
"This is another move that the police authorities have come up with though it has been on.
"The reason why this is different is that those colleagues of ours that died in active service their families are being given some money.
"This will enable the families of the deceased to take care of their loved ones that are still living; we have officers that died during the course of duty and those that were shot by armed robbers," he said.
Arase added that the benefits cut across all ranks in the force and that the amount differed depending on the rank and circumstances in which the officer departed.
"Each serving member usually fills a form showing their next of kin and after death, we then contact their next of kin and present the cheques to them.
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"The rank is usually from Inspector downwards; we have distributed close to N53 million now to the all the families.
"With this, I am sure the little children that are left behind will be able to go to school," Arase said.
He urged the beneficiaries to put whatever they got to good use to meet their needs.
"The money is not meant for frivolities; it is to ensure that children left behind are well taken care off.
"This does not end here, we still have other benefits, this one is for the insurance the force did for its officers, especially for those that died in the course of duty.
"Those who were involved in accidents and those that were sick and eventually died also benefit,’’ Arase said.
The beneficiaries include the families of the two officers that lost their lives in the Ikoyi and Ipakodo-Ikorodu bank robberies of March 12 and July 6.
They received N400, 000 and N3 million each.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Augustina Osai, thanked the I-G, saying that the money would go a long way in assisting members of their families.
"Basically, it is my dad’s retirement benefit; it is just to support the family that my dad left behind.
"My dad was ill and he died in May 2014 as an Assistant Superintendent.
"The benefit is a good thing, a good initiative and the government has done its best to take care of the families of the deceased.
"I am surprised it came early because from what we heard, it will take about five years for us to get the benefit.
"We almost gave up hope, but now that we have the money, will take care of all our father left behind," she said.
Also, Elvis, whose first name was withheld, commended the police authorities for the development.
He added that after his father was shot during the Lekki-Ikoyi robbery, he was not expecting any benefits soon.
"I did not expect the money to come this early; I was thinking it will take up to three years.
"This is a good development in the police and this is also an evidence that the authorities were passionate about the welfare of deceased officers’ families," he said.