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FG, pensioners disagree on payment of claims’ backlog with N54 billion

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Pension

• Reps summon NEPZA boss over alleged non-remittance of N25.105 million
Pensioners have disagreed with the Federal Government that the N54 billion released cleared its liabilities to the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, while briefing members of the House of Representatives at the plenary session presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the release of N54 billion on Wednesday to clear outstanding pension liability.

However, in sharp disagreement with this claim, the National President, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Dr. Abel O. Afolayan said Federal Government’s indebtedness to the CPS is well over N280 billion.

At the Reps session, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma disclosed that a special panel to be headed by Adeosun would be constituted to reconcile conflicting figures on the pensioners’ claims and evolve means of generating money to solve the problem.

Afolayan explained: “It is a known fact that the FG has consistently under-appropriated for the CPS over the past few years as pension benefits have consistently been treated in installments as though it is a capital expenditure rather than salary for those who have served their fatherland.”

According to Afolayan, “NUP has it on verified record that whereas the sum N93.067, 441,000.00 was needed to service FG’s statutory obligations to the CPS in 2014, but only the sum of N30, 582,553,824.00 was approved. Whereas N98, 705,155,450.00, was needed for the year 2015, the Budget Office only proposed the sum of N60, 251,158,884.00 to the National Assembly. Year 2016 was even worse as N91, 914,899,000.00 was required, but the Budget Office proposed only N50, 195,808,918.00 to the National Assembly, which also approved it, leaving a deficit of N41, 719,090,082.00.”

In another development, the House committee, Chairman, Committee on Public Accounts, Kingsley Chinda yesterday summoned the Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Gbenga Kuye to explain why it allegedly refused to remit N25.105 million accumulated in 2012 as internally generated revenues into the nation’s consolidated revenue account.

Chinda said the unremitted amount represented “part of the end of year balance that would have been remitted to the consolidated revenue fund.”



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