Connect with us
Advertise With Us


Pension Fraud: Reps Committee Summon Okonjo-Iweala, Oronsanye



An ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Pension Reforms has summoned the immediate past minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former head of service of the federation, Mr. Steve Oronsanye, and the embattled chair of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms (PTTPF), Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina.

The committee also summoned the acting chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu; the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele; the inspector-general of police, Ibrahim Idris and the head of service of the federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-ita.

The concerned persons are to appear before the committee on Monday, March12, to state their roles and involvement in the alleged pension fraud from 2010.

The committee, however, warned invited persons against sending representatives, insisting that they are expected to appear in person.

The executive secretary of PTAD, Sharon Ikpeazor, had revealed what the agency had recovered so far at the public hearing organised by the House Ad-hoc Committee investigating the activities of the PTTPF from 2010 to the time of its dissolution.

She called on the lawmakers to assist the agency to go after erring insurance companies withholding the several billions of Legacy Fund traced to them.

She threatened that PTAD would not hesitate to engage the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies to recover the Legacy Fund.

Giving the breakdown of the money recovered so far, she said that while N6.7billion legacy fund recovered is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), property worth N13.5 billion had also been recovered, making a total of N20.2billion.

Speaking on PTAD, Ikpeazor stated that the agency was responsible for the pension administration of the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), which are the Civil Service Pension Department, the Police Pension Office and the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office (CIPPO).

She said that the agency, which was able to reduce the police pension liabilities from N16.501 billion to N7 billion after reconciliation, had saved the sum of N90.652 million monthly from police pension allowance, while N1.4 billion liabilities was yet to be offset.

While explaining to the lawmakers what the agency had done so far, the executive secretary said that PTAD had inherited 18,370 pensioners from the old pension scheme, and that due to its diligence, it was able to eliminate 3,324 pensioners who did not show up for verification as at May 2015.

She noted that the agency had collaborated with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to collapse four pension accounts for ease of management, adding that the sum of N15.025 billion was domiciled in Zenith Bank; N2.483 billion in Union Bank; N720 million in UBA and N193.629 million in Access Bank as at October 2013.

“Total sum of N9.252 billion pooled from various defunct Customs, Prisons and Immigration pension account was used to pay N6.513 billion of the 42 months arrears of 33% pension arrears in June and August, 2016, leaving balance of N2.739 billion.

“Of the total sum of N26 billion Legacy Fund traced to all the insurance companies, N20.3 billion has so far been recovered.

“N6.7 billion cash recovered has been domiciled with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) while properties worth N13.5 billion are being re-valued by Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.”

The lawmakers, who frowned at what was happening to the pension funds, alleged that funds and property running into several billions of naira had not been accounted for.