Govt officials opened 73,000 fake pension accounts- Task Force

2012-04-19
THE PUNCH Newspaper- Nike Popoola

The Pension Reform Task Force has said it has discovered over 73,000 fake pension accounts illegally opened by government officials from two pension departments of the Federal Government.

The Information and Media Relations Officer, PRT, Mr. Hassan Salihu, who disclosed this to our correspondent exclusively on Tuesday, said that the team had, however, deleted the accounts and saved several billions of naira from being stolen.

He added that the PRT had been able to block several loopholes through which government officials were siphoning money from the country and depriving genuine pensioners their monthly stipends.

“The PRT traced and cracked pension cartels in the entire country, stopped the stealing of billions of naira monthly by pension robbers, disallowed further stealing and deleted over 73,000 fake pensioners’ names in just two pension offices,” Salihu said.

The National Union of Pensioners, in a memorandum to the Senate Committee on Establishment, Public Service Matters and Management of Pension Funds, had complained that lots of ghost pensioners were being paid monthly stipends, while genuine pensioners were removed from payrolls.

According to the union, from 2002 to date, the names of many pensioners have been omitted from the pension payroll and all efforts to put them back have proved abortive.

It noted that the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, which is saddled with the payment of the pension of federal pensioners and the Federal Government’s share to state pensioners, was responsible for most of the problems being faced by pensioners in the country.

The union noted in its memorandum, “It seems that there is a big, strong tree of fraud with lateral roots in the HOS office, while the branches are deemed to be in all states and organisations throughout the federation.

“Unfortunately, it is a curse to serve the government and retire in Nigeria because Nigerian pensioners begin their journey to sorrow, hardship and sufferings after retirement, and so, their rest is bitter after labour.”







 

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