‘N29b missing police pension funds returned to govt coffers’
The House of Representatives Committee on Interior was yesterday told that about N29 billion allegedly recovered from the misappropriated Police Pension Funds has been returned by the authorities to the coffers of the Federal Government.
Director-General of Pension Transition Administrative Directorate (PTAD), Nellie Mayshak, who made the disclosure during an interaction with the Haliru Jika-led committee, confirmed that adequate funds were made available for police pension by the previous administration, but the pension managers misappropriated the funds through insertion of ghost pensioners on the payroll.
Specifically, Mayshak disclosed that the agency which was saddled with the responsibility of handling the old pension scheme of various federal government agencies, including, during the last nationwide verification exercise discovered about 2,800 ghost pensioners from the 18,000 personnel on the police pension payroll.
The DG further disclosed that out of the additional 16,000 names of pensioners who have never been captured in the pension scheme submitted to PTAD, only 3,128 appeared during the verification exercise.
She however told the committee members that the fraud which characterized pension administration had become a thing of the past, assuring that the report of the authentic federal pensioners would be submitted to relevant authorities, including National Assembly.
Mayshak disclosed that the major challenge confronting the pension scheme was from those who benefited from the rot.
Minister of Police Affairs, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, who led the delegation told the committee that the ministry under his supervision was already mapping out strategies to address the myriad of challenges confronting the police as well as tackle the negative image besetting the security agency.
He disclosed that the report on the merger of the Ministry of Interior and Police Affairs has been submitted to the Head of Service of the Federation and will subsequently be transmitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.
Members of the committee who spoke during the meeting raised concerns over the spate of extra-judicial killings, poor welfare of police personnel and their families, delay in the payment of compensation to families of deceased personnel and poor response to distress calls.
Former Inspector General of Police, (IGP) and Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro, during his presentation, disclosed that Nigeria would require about 425,000 policemen for effective policing of the country.
“With the current staff disposition of 286,901, additional 119,421 personnel is required,” Okiro said, just as he observed that the preparation for the recruitment of the 10,000 personnel announced by President Muhammadu Buhari was ongoing.
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