How We Spent N25bn To Pay Pensioners Since 2016 – Edo Govt

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.


The Edo State government says it has spent N25,047,472,632.77 for the payment of monthly pension of 13,081 pensioners from November 2016 to May 2020.

According to the Mid-Year Report of the Edo State Pension Bureau, the government has also expended over N4.3 billion in clearing the backlog of outstanding pension arrears owed about 3,128 pensioners in the state.

A breakdown of the figure shows that the government spent a total of N771,714,393.01 between November and December 2016 for the payment of pensions; expended N5,371,283,211.09 in 2017; while N6,452,535,649.08 and N7,936,681,957.45 were spent in 2018 and 2019 for the same purpose.

“For 2020, the government spent N735,069,623.04; N736,780,760.18; N759,731,334.31; N760,620,948.61; N759,695,333.23 and N763,359,423.02 in January, February, March, April, May and June respectively,” the report stated.

It explained that with the setting aside of N200 million monthly, the Godwin Obaseki administration was able to defray arrears of pensions dating back to 1996 to December 2018.

The government, the Bureau noted, divided the pensioners into batches 37 to 65 and ensured that the backlog was cleared after physical and documentary verifications.

Following the payment of outstanding pension arrears, it revealed that the government would consider harmonisation of pensions and payment of death benefits and gratuity in the weeks ahead.

The Bureau disclosed that an efficient management process has been put in place to fast-track the processing and documentation of retiring officers’ entitlements, thus ensuring a seamless migration from salary payroll to pension payroll.

It stressed that this has minimised the incidence of accumulation of pension arrears that had been a burden before the inception of the present administration.

The report also revealed that civil servants eligible to register under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have the benefit of a Group Life Insurance cover that makes provision for beneficiaries of contributors in the event of death in active service.

“The sum of N80,713,446.34 was paid as premium for 9,803 Edo State employees in the CPS. With this payment made, the next of kin of deceased employees receives three times their gross annual salary as benefits.

“From the commencement of the CPS on January 1, 2017 till date, a total sum of N 81,169,724.24 have been paid to families of 34 deceased employees of the State Public Service who were enrolees of the CPS,” it noted.

The report stated further, “The state government exercised political will and has been committed to the payment of pension arrears, monthly pension, death benefits under the Defined Benefit Scheme and  government’s 10 per cent matching contribution into the Employees’ RSA, in compliance with the provisions of the Edo State Contributory Pension Scheme Law of 2010 as amended.

“The state has made remittances of contributions of both employees (8%) and employer (10%) to the PFAs for 39 months, i.e. from January 2017 to April 2020 which amounts to N5,230,348,954.34.

“Of this, government’s (employer) matching (10%) contribution is N2,905,749,419.08 only, while that of the employees’ (8%) contribution is N 2,324,599,535.26. Also, a Retirement Benefits Bonds Redemption Fund (RBBRF) account has been opened with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“This account is being funded monthly to ensure that funds are available to defray the accrued pension rights of employees who have registered for the Contributory Pension Scheme. The RBBRF Account is being funded with 5% of the total monthly wage bill of employees in fulfilment of the provision of the Contributory Pension Scheme Law.”

FG Writes SERAP, Demands List Of Ex-Govs, Ministers Collecting Life Pensions

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees


The Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) says it has received a letter from the Federal Government requesting the full list of former governors and ministers that have received or are receiving double pay and life pensions.

SERAP in a statement issued on Sunday explained that the letter follows last year’s judgment by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, ordering the government to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws and recover public funds collected by former governors and ministers.

The agency had earlier sent a letter to Mr Abukabar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, asking him to “advise and persuade President Muhammadu Buhari fully enforce the judgment.”

READ ALSO: One Killed As Building Collapses In Lagos

In his reply dated February 24 which SERAP said it received March 2, Mr Malami said: “Kindly refer to your letter dated 6th December 2019.

“I am writing to inform your esteemed organization to furnish me with the full list of the former governors and ministers which are affected by the judgment by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, in order to enhance and ensure compliance with the ruling of the Honourable Court. Please, treat with utmost urgency.”

In his response, the Deputy Director of the group, Mr Kolalwole Oluwadare hopes the judgment will be implemented promptly, for the sake of integrity, accountability and proper management of public resources by state governors.

Oluwadare said: “We welcome your request for the full list of former governors and ministers. Any further delay in the enforcement of the judgment will continue to undermine the authority and integrity of the Nigerian judiciary.

“Nigerians cannot wait for you to take legal action to scrap states’ pension laws and fully recover the public funds collected.”

Life Pension: SERAP Asks Court To Order 36 Governors To Publish Payment Details Since 1999

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees



Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court, Abuja to order the 36 state governors in Nigeria to “publish details and breakdown of payment of pensions to each of the former governors and other ex-officials, and the names and number of ex-governors and other officials receiving pensions under their respective State pension laws between 1999 and 2019.”

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/19/2020 filed last Friday, SERAP is seeking: “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel the 36 state governors to publish names and number of former governors and other officials that have received pensions and the total amounts received between 1999 and 2019 and have at the same time served and/or serving as members of the National Assembly.”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 9th December 2019 to the governors, expressing concern that: “granting pension for life to ex-governors and other officials represents the use of public office to advance private interests, suggests the misuse of legitimate discretion for improper reasons, and has created a more cynical public view of politics and politicians.”

READ ALSO: Army Says Over 100 Bandits Killed In Zamfara And Katsina

According to SERAP, only two governors—Delta state governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa and Kwara state governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq—have responded to its FoI requests. Although Mr Okowa directed his Head of Service to send the details requested, no information was received at the time of filing the suit.

SERAP also said: “governor Abdulrazaq provided a copy of the pension law and list of former governors and ex-officials receiving pensions in Kwara State under the state’s Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law, 2010, naming Cornelius O. Adebayo; Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi; Sayomi Simon Adediji; Bukola Saraki; and Ogundeji Joel Afolabi as recipients of life pensions in the state. However, the governor did not state the amounts that have so far been collected, and whether the state would pursue recovery of the pensions paid.”

According to the Kwara state pension law (as amended), governors and deputy governors “from the year 1967 shall be entitled to a pension for life at the rate equivalent to the annual basic salary of the incumbent and other benefits as provided by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission. The pension shall include: furnished 5-bedroom duplex, 300% for furniture replaceable every 4 years; free medical treatment for governor and deputy governor and their immediate families; car maintenance; drivers [pensionable]; house maintenance; and two cars for the governor in addition to 1 pilot car to be replaced every 3 years.”

The Kwara state pension law also provides that: “governor and deputy governor shall be entitled to domestic staff including cook, steward, gardener and two other domestic staff who shall be pensionable. Governor shall be entitled to 2 SSS detail and 1 female officer, in addition to 8 policemen. Deputy governor shall be entitled to 1 SSS detail in addition to 2 policemen.”

According to SERAP: “both governor Okowa and governor Abdulrazaq did not in their responses make any commitment to repeal the pension laws in their states and to seek a refund of the pensions already collected by former governors and other ex-officials.”

SERAP’s suit is coming on the heels of the landmark judgment delivered last week by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Lagos ordering the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to collect such pensions.

The judgment followed the invalidated pension law for former governors and other ex-public officers in Zamfara State, which provided for the upkeep of ex-governors to the tune of N700 million annually. The state has produced three former governors since 1999.

SERAP is also seeking “a declaration that the failure of the 36 state governors to provide SERAP with the requested information on Pension Law in their respective states as requested constitutes a breach of SERAP’s right under the FoI Act, 2011, and for such further order(s) the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi read in part: “There is a statutory obligation on the 36 state governors, being public officials, to proactively keep, organize and maintain all information or records about its operations, personnel, activities and other relevant or related information or records such as payment of pensions to former governors, in a manner that facilitates public access to such information or record.”

“The public interest in the disclosure of details of payment of pensions to former governors and names of the recipients of such pensions sought by SERAP outweighs any private interest the 36 state governors may be protecting.”

“The suit is in the national interest, public welfare, public interest, social justice, good governance, transparency, and accountability. There is no justifiable reason for the governors to refuse to provide SERAP with the details of payment of pensions and other related information requested.”

“Public officials should not encourage, sustain, or implement jumbo pension laws that show an appearance of a conflict of interest, impropriety or create a situation of personal enrichment. The pension law negates the duty to act honestly and to represent the needs and concerns of the people, and to refrain from activities, which interfere with the proper discharge of public functions.”

“Those who manage the resources of the state ought to protect the interest of the people in their states. Public officials, while entrusted with duties and discretions, are not to act in their own best interest, but to discharge those duties and exercise those powers in the interests of the public.”

“The duties on public officials including governors flowing from their position as trustees to the public also include the duty to refrain from activities which interfere with the proper discharge of their functions, and the duty not to place themselves in a position where public duty conflicts with private interest.”

“By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FOI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information relating to any life pension law for former governors and other senior ex-officials and the details of payments to such officials over the years are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means.”

“The right to truth allows Nigerians to gain access to information essential to the fight against corruption. This is in line with the Government’s anti-corruption strategy of citizen involvement in the fight against corruption. Access to information will ultimately foster the development of democratic institutions in Nigeria.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Zamfara Assembly Repeals Law Granting Ex-Governors, Others Pension


Former governors, deputy governors, and other political office holders in Zamfara State will no longer enjoy the payment of pension and other entitlements.

This development comes on the heels of outright repeal of the law that approves such payment by members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly.

The lawmakers abolished the law on Tuesday following a bill laid on the floor on the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Gusau, the state capital.

Presenting the bill, House Leader Faruk Dosara (PDP Maradun I) urged his collogues to as a matter of urgency consider the complete repeal of the law.

The law, according to him, provides the ‘jamboree pay’ for the former political leaders of the state at the detriment of the retired civil servants who have not been paid their entitlements over the years.

Dosara stressed that this category of past leaders were receiving over N700,000 million naira annually at a time when the state’s economy cannot accommodate such.

Seconding the motion, Tukur Tudu (PDP Bakura) explained that the abolition of the law was highly necessary as was detrimental to the socio-economic well-being of the people.

Following a series of deliberations and contributions by members, the Speaker, Nasiru Magarya, ordered the Clerk of the House to give the bill first and second reading.

The House, thereafter, went for a committee of a whole which led to the third reading of the bill.

The bill scaled through the third reading while members passed it and resolved that it should be sent to the state governor, Bello Matawalle, for his assent.

In a statement shortly after, the spokesperson for the House, Mustapha Kaura, noted that all past political leaders in Zamfara would no longer enjoy any entitlement, unless those prescribed by the National Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers also received an interim report by the House Standing Committee on Religious Affairs led by Kabiru Dansadau (NRM Maru South).

The committee was asked to investigate the controversy surrounding the appointment of the Jumu’at Mosque Imam in Birnin Magaji Ward of Gummi Local Government Area of the state.

According to Kaura, the committee’s report indicted the district head of Birnin Magaji ward, Lauwali Hassan; district head of Gamo, Abubakar Adamu, as well as the Secretary of Gummi Emirate Council, Aminu Aliyu, among others of being culpable in the alleged scam.

It also accused them of collecting bribe from the imam which sparked some pocket of crisis in the area.

In its recommendation, the committee proposed the outright suspension of the principal officers of the emirate, pending the conclusion of its investigations.

The house agreed to this and extended the duration of the investigations by three weeks.

It has adjoined sitting until Wednesday.

Earlier, Speaker Magarya inaugurated the new Clerk of the House, Shehu Anka, paving the way for him to assume duty officially.

Withdraw Life Pensions For Ex-Officials, SERAP Tells Abuja Council Chairman

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees


The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Mr Abdullahi Candido, to withdraw the bill seeking payment of life pensions to former chairmen, vice-chairmen, speakers and other officials of AMAC.

According to a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the human rights group issued a 14-day ultimatum for the withdrawal of the bill.

In an open letter dated October 11 and addressed to Candido, it described the payment of such money as unconstitutional and illegal.

It said, “If the bill/edict is not withdrawn within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, we will take all appropriate legal action to challenge the illegality and to compel you to comply with our request.

SERAP disclosed that under the bill, AMAC’s past council chairmen would receive an annual pension of N500,000 while former vice chairmen are to receive N300,000 each and former speakers will be paid N200,000 each.

It added that the payment of life pensions would cost the council several millions of naira of taxpayers’ money annually.

“The payment of life pensions to the council’s chairmen, vice-chairmen and speakers would cause massive financial crisis and cripple the council’s ability to discharge its mandates of providing public goods and services to the people of Abuja.

“It would also put in jeopardy citizens’ access to those services,” the group decried.

SERAP believes payment of life pensions to AMAC’s officials undermines the concept of representative government.

It insisted that such action was a flagrant violation of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act.

The group said it also amounts to an abuse of official power, position, and resources for personal gains, and reverses the notion of government as the public’s servant and not its master.

The letter read: The payment of life pensions to AMAC’s former officials is a copycat of the unconstitutional and illegal life pension laws that have been passed by several of the 36 state governments in Nigeria.

Your council is setting a bad precedent as the first local council in Nigeria to introduce life pensions for its officials.

This would send a dangerous message to other councils and risks opening the floodgates of life pension bills/edicts in several of the 774 local governments across the country.

Rather than spending millions of taxpayers’ money on life pensions, your leadership should prioritise addressing the poor state of basic amenities and deficits in educational institutions, primary healthcare facilities, potable water, sanitation and the basic infrastructural needs of the residents within the council’s area.

The leadership of AMAC ought to be exercised for the purposes of providing public goods and services to the people of Abuja and not to grant personal benefits for past officials.

The AMAC is constitutionally and statutorily obliged to act in the public interest.

Implementing the edict would defeat the very purpose for which your council is established, that is, to provide public goods and services.

Granting life pensions to council’s chairmen, vice-chairmen and speakers would seriously undermine the accountability of the council and citizens’ trust in its leadership.

People have the right to honest and faithful performance by public officials, who are under a fiduciary duty to the public.

And no public officer should put himself/herself in a position in which his/her personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.

That is exactly the case with the life pensions.

The public trust to AMAC leaders and officials is not without its corresponding burden: accountability to the public is the obligation of all who hold public offices, including the position of chairman of AMAC.

This notion of accountability requires you to take immediate steps to withdraw the life pensions bill/edict.

You reportedly stated that the payment of life pensions was meant to ‘honour past heroes of the council who sacrificed their talents and energy in building the council.

This is to celebrate Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary as well as celebrate the 35th anniversary since AMAC’s creation.

It would be a disservice if the past leaders and ambassadors of the council are not honoured.

No Forensic Evidence To Prove Maina Stole Money – Lawyer


A lawyer and rights activist, Frank Tietie, has said that there’s no forensic evidence to prove that the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, stole any money.

Mr Tietie said this while reacting to the arrest of Maina on Wednesday.

“There is no forensic evidence to prove that Maina stole money directly”, he said in an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.

He, however, noted that he was optimistic that with the arrest, Nigerians can now see an end to the “mysterious Maina saga”.

Tietie who believes the ex-pensions boss has enjoyed a lot of protection, also says he hopes that “all of those forces who have always wanted him, who have always been scared of him would now come and face him and he should be given the opportunity to say the whole truth”.

“Miana definitely has enjoyed some measure of cooperation from the state authorities in such a confusing manner.

“At a point he was declared wanted, only to be reported to be protected by the DSS,” he added.

Maina had been declared wanted by the EFCC for an alleged N2 billion fraud in November 2015.


DSS: Maina’s 20-Year-Old Son Pulled A Pistol During Arrest

DSS Arrests Abdulrasheed Maina

Afterward, he disappeared from the public glare only to resurface in October 2017 and was reinstated as a Director in the Ministry of Interior – a situation that sparked criticism from Nigerians.

Tietie, however, believes that the controversial reinstatement and seeming protection was a deliberate act to lure him into releasing some sensitive information.

In an exclusive interview with Channels TV, after his return, the ex-pensions boss had said that if given a chance, he could prove his innocence to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Beyond that, he also promised to uncover some proceeds of corruption within nine months.

“Mr President, I will give you information and documents that will fetch you over N3trillion now in Nigeria, give me nine months. Within the first three months, I will show you N1trillion just like I showed you N1trillion in this 2017,” Maina had said.

Tietie, on the other hand, believes that with the level of confidence exuded by Maina, he could indeed possess “sufficient intelligence with regards to the situation of pension”.

“I think he was reinstated as a bait, in order to allow him release all of those sensitive information he has, to bust corruption,” he added.

He, therefore, urged the EFCC to do a thorough job before it proceeds to arraign him, while also calling on the DSS to use the opportunity to also clear itself on the allegations that it had been protecting Maina.

Court Sentences Man Over Alleged N65.5m Pension Fraud

Court Sentences Consultant Over Alleged N65.5m Pension Fraud


Justice Darius Khobo of a Kaduna State High Court has sentenced one Mohammed Sodangi, a pension consultant, to four months in prison for an alleged N65.5 million fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a statement on Thursday that it received a petition by a group, Movement for Better Future, which alleged massive fraud in the Kaduna State Pension Bureau.

According to the commission, it was alleged that the then management of the bureau conspired with the consultant to steal pension fund through enrolment of ghost pensioners.

READ ALSOUS Closes Abuja, Lagos Offices For Elections

The EFCC said the defendant was arraigned on May 15, 2015, on 13 counts bordering on impersonating and theft to the tune of N65.5 million.

One of the count read: “That you, Mohammed Ibrahim Sodangi, being a Consultant engaged by the Kaduna State Government to undertake the Computerisation of the Kaduna State Pension payroll, sometime between August 2012 and December, 2012 at Kaduna in the Kaduna Judicial Division of the High Court of Kaduna State did take dishonestly the sum of N9,937,163.34 (Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Seven Thousand, One Hundred and Sixty Three Naira Thirty Four Kobo) only, property of the Kaduna State Pension Bureau without its consent by enlisting your name into the pension payroll and which said sum were paid into your Keystone Bank Plc Kaduna main branch and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 287 of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State of Nigeria.”

Sodangi pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.

In the course of the trial, EFCC presented five witnesses who testified while the defence presented three witnesses.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, the prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, informed the court that the case was slated for judgement.

Defence counsel, A. Moyosore, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, pleading that his client was a first-time offender and has many dependants.

The trial judge, thereafter, convicted and sentenced him to three months in prison with an option of N100,000 as fine on count one, which is an offence of impersonating.

He was also sentenced to 48 months in prison – four months each on count two to 13 to run concurrently and to pay the sum of N100,000 on each count, cumulative of N1.2 million as restitution.

Justice Khobo also ordered a mandatory four months in prison and that the defendant should refund the sum of over N55million by way of bank draft through the EFCC to the Kaduna State Pension Bureau.

We Have Put A Stop To Dehumanisation Of Pensioners, Says President Buhari

No Country Can Confront Climate Change Alone, Buhari Tells UN Summit


President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja said his administration has put a stop to the dehumanization of federal pensioners by ensuring they were paid their entitlements and backlog of arrears as at when due.

The President spoke when he received a delegation of Nigeria Union of Pensioners led by the acting president, Comrade Musa Ayuba Dallatu, at State House.

President Buhari declared that the welfare of pensioners had remained a priority for his administration since May 2015, noting that the retirees deserve timely payment of their emoluments, recognition, and respect for their work and dedication to the country during their active working years.

‘‘In recent times pensioners were ignored, neglected and even persecuted. We have put a stop to that. As you yourselves have confirmed today, we have begun regular payment of monthly pensions and payment of backlog of arrears.

‘‘The Federal Government released N45 billion accrued rights for the contributory pension scheme and N22.4 billion to start payment of ex-Nigeria Airways pensioners,’’ he said.

READ ALSO: Dino Melaye In Police Custody After Eight-Day Siege

President Buhari told the pensioners that the Federal Government also bailed out States to address salary and pension arrears including Paris Club refunds, even as he had authorised schemes for the restoration of Niger Delta Steel Company pensioners, NITEL/MTEL pensioners and Biafra Police war veterans pensioners.

Reviewing the actions taken so far by the administration in connection with the pension industry, the President said the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) had saved N4.9 trillion per annum as a result of payroll clean-up under the Civil Service verification exercise.

He added that the Directorate which supervised the payment of pension arrears to over 50,000 verified Civil Service Pensioners, also oversaw the payment of N917.6 million to 432 war retirees.

According to the President, under his watch, PTAD completed full payment of N5.8 billion to police retirees in August 2018 while in November 2018, N13.7 billion was paid to parastatal retirees and N18 billion to civil service Pensioners.

‘‘These few examples testify to the Government’s positive impact on pensioners’ lives. In addition, we achieved huge savings in budgetary provisions through the elimination of ghost and duplicated details.

‘‘We have restored qualified pensioners arbitrarily removed from the payroll, thus bringing succour and hope to senior citizens, thereby improving the confidence of the entire county in the Government and its policies,’’ he said.

On the requests by the pensioners, including the implementation of the National Policy on Pension Parity and the National Policy on Social Security on Health and Other Related Matters of the Elderly, the President promised to do all within his powers to address them, subject to the availability of funds.

The leader of the delegation had also sought the President’s intervention on the five percent counterpart funding for the payment of local government pensioners and retired primary school teachers which was arbitrarily stopped in 2010.

Comrade Dallatu appealed for the payment of outstanding pension arrears, gratuities and death benefits that have accrued over the years, among others.

Commending President Buhari on the regular payment of pensions, Dallatu said: ‘‘we are bold to say without fear or favour that you have made our lives better than you met it in so many areas, which among others include regular payment of monthly pensions.

‘‘It is an incontestable fact that since the advent of this government under your able leadership, payment of monthly pensions has been more regular than ever. In fact, if the truth must be told, Mr President Sir, we have never had it so good.’


Edo To Pay Next Batch Of Pension Arrears From Wednesday

Edo To Pay Next Batch Of Pension Arrears From Wednesday
This file photo shows pensioners in Edo State protest their unpaid gratuities and pension arrears


The Edo State government has said that it will commence the payment of pension arrears of retirees in ‘batch 40’ latest on Wednesday, January 24.

The government announced this in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary and Chairman, Pensions Bureau, Mr I.D. Juwobor, a copy of which was obtained by Channels Television on Sunday.

Juwobor said explained that the announcement was in continuation of the phased payment of pension arrears by the state government.

However, pensioners in batch 40 have been asked to present themselves for physical and documentary verification from Monday to Wednesday at the Imaguero School Hall in Benin City, the state capital.

According to the government, the exercise will also afford pensioners in batches 37, 38 and 39, who missed previous verification exercises, the opportunity to be screened and get their records taken to facilitate payment of their arrears.

“Affected pensioners are advised to check the list of pensioners in the batches at the office of the Head of Service on January 22 and 23, 2018.

“They are to come to the venue of the verification exercise with the following: pension authority, retirement letter, letter of first appointment, pension identity card, biometric slip and bank details including bank name and account number,” the Pensions Bureau chairman said.

Upon conclusion of the verification exercise, he said outstanding pension arrears would be credited to each pensioner’s account, “without delay after due process and documentation by relevant agencies involved in the payment process.”

The state government had opted for the phased payment of pension arrears after a reported backlog of about N10billion.

Imaguero, however, said the phased payment of the arrears has reduced the arrears by about N6billion, providing succour to pensioners whose arrears accrued from 1996 to 2000.

Edo Govt Promises To Clear Pension Debts By 2018

Obaseki Seeks Christian Leaders’ Support To Tackle Human Trafficking
File photo

The Edo state government has promised to clear all outstanding pension debts before the end of the year 2018 with or without the Paris club refunds.

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said the state government has paid off N6billion of the N10 billion pension arrears that accumulated between 1996 and 2000.

Mr Obaseki made this known when he met with pensioners in the state on Monday to commemorate the 16th Annual National Pensioners’ Day in Benin City, the state capital adding that the N3.9b arrears backlog would be cleared before December 2018.

He said that the arrears had accumulated between 1996 and year 2000 and that the state government has been clearing them in batches.

“For state pensioners, we set aside N100 million monthly to address the balance of about N3.9 billion. We will increase this amount as the state revenue profile increases.”

He further explained that when his administration came on board, local government councils were unable to pay pensions, hence the state put up measures to enable them generate revenue, which, he said, is gradually yielding positive results.

“We didn’t want to have challenges in the payment of pension anymore. So, we moved from the old system to the contributory pension scheme. You have a governor who understands the pension problem and the only way to resolve this problem is for us to work together,” he said.

On Paris Club refunds, the governor said the state and local government councils got the fund, which was used to pay salaries and pension arrears.

The State Chairman of Nigeria Union Pensioners (NUP), Pullen Noruwa, commended the governor for attending the event and setting up an 8-man committee to address pension matters in the state.

He also appealed to the governor to increase the N100 million set aside for the payment of pension arrears on monthly basis to expedite action on the settlement of outstanding arrears.

Over 66 Accounts Used In Pension Fraud – Malami

national policy, corruption

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami has revealed the existence of over 66 accounts allegedly operated by those involved in pensions’ fraud.

This comes amid growing criticism that has rocked the Buhari led administration following the reinstatement of an embattled former Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Pension’s Reforms, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina.

Many have said that the controversy surrounding Maina’s return and promotion to the position of Director of the Federal Civil Service has put a question mark on the Federal Government’s commitment in the fight against corruption.

The Attorney-General who was a guest on Channels Television’s Question Time, said shocking discoveries and recoveries have been made so far.


“Over 66 accounts were used in pension fraud associated transactions.

“There exists 12 pending court cases that are related to the pension fund fraud. Investigations have been ongoing overtime and serious recoveries involving about 270 or more assets involving house and automobiles were recovered.

“There is a very strong allegation that about 217,000 ghost pensioners exist within the system. And you are equally aware that high profile individuals inclusive of political office holders, senior civil servants, the military, the police are equally alleged to be part of the syndicate relating to pension.”

The Justice Minister also explained that the reinstatement of the embattled former pensions’ boss was an idea conceived by his (Maina’s) lawyers and brought to his office.

“As at October 5, 2017, an issue relating to the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina was an issue that was in the process in the Office of the Attorney-General relating to a request that was made by his lawyers sometime back in April.

“Arriving at a decision like this, some legal processes come into play. The first process was a judgment presented by his lawyer on account of which he had sought the intervention of the Attorney General for his reinstatement.

“And in the first process thereafter, was a request from the office of the public service of the federation seeking information to certain enquiries that were met and thereafter there was equally a factor relating to a pending court case in the National Industrial Court in respect of which you equally have to factor in mind before arriving at a decision.”

Mr Malami further said that the process had yet to be concluded in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

It will be recalled that Maina was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged N2bn pensions biometric scam in November 2015, a 24-count bothering on procurement fraud and obtaining money under false pretense.

He reportedly disappeared from public glare only to resurface in October 2017, to take charge as an Acting Director in the Ministry of Interior with his return sparking reactions and outrage.

President Buhari, however, sacked him on October 23, after much criticism of his administration.

Nigeria’s Pension Industry Grows By 16.1%

Financial Markets, christmas

Nigeria’s pension industry returned a weighted average of 16.1 per cent in the first half of the year but real returns remained negative at 1.3 per cent.

Research firm, Agusto and Company reports that gains can be attributed to higher yields offered in the fixed income market – as government borrows to make-up for its shortfall in revenue.

Given the records, the value of pension assets declined in real terms as average monthly inflow grew by 14.6 per cent, from 71.3 billion Naira in 2016 to 83.6 billion Naira in the first half 2017.

While total pension assets stands at 6.5 trillion Naira or 21.3 billion dollars as at April 2017, Agusto & company expects the pension industry to grow at an average of 16 per cent annually, for the next three years.