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15 persons fingered in N5.778bn missing pensions fund in Niger



15 persons fingered in N5.778bn missing pensions fund in Niger

No fewer than fifteen persons have been indicted in the N5.778 billion missing Pension Contribution fund in Niger State from 2009 to 2012.

The Director-General, Niger State Pension Board, Alhaji Usman Tinau Muhammed, who revealed this during a press briefing to announce the resumption of the state to Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Minna said the matter would also be referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.

He disclosed that those whose names appeared on the report would be invited for discussion in order to recover the state’s assets from them.

Muhammed said, “forensic audit report has confirmed that N5.778bn pension fund is missing and this was because the money did not pass through the pension board. Fifteen people were also mentioned in the report and anybody identified would be invited for a discussion on the matter.”

It would be recalled that the state in 2015 suspended the scheme due to pressure on the then administration of Governor Muazu Banagida Aliyu in the state.

The scheme was, however, resumed by the present administration, according to him, for the benefit of the workers.

He explained that the state decided to resume the scheme following a recommendation by a committee set up by the state government headed by the Deputy Governor.

The Director-General, speaking further on the resumption of CPS, said the old pension scheme had a lot of challenges but, the CPS guaranteed that at the end of retirement employees are sure of getting their entitlement in a lump sum and monthly pension promptly as well.

“Deduction for the CPS starts from JUNE 2020 and the system exempts those employees from 1992 downward which means it will start with employees from 1993. The contribution would be 7.5 from employees and 10.5 from the state government.”

He also revealed that the state as at December 2019 has 8,633 names on the old pension scheme for state and 7046 for local governments.

Muhammed added that on the CPS, there are 22, 000 names for state employees while there are no authentic lists yet for the local government as it is still being worked upon.

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