The Niger state House of Assembly has ordered Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to as a matter of urgency pay up the suffering pensioners in the state.
The order was contained in a report by Hon. Malik Madaki Bosso from Bosso constituency and Chairman state Assembly committee on labour and productivity to the plenary sitting of the House.
The committee report said a total of N6.8 billion was being owed as pension arrears and gratuity by the Niger state government.
“The committee found out that over N3.7 billion Naira will be required to pay gratuity to over 1300 retirees who have not received any of their entitlements from pension fund administrators or government, the committee also observed that the implementation of the new law is yet to commence”
Honourable Malik added that the committee found out that “over N3.1 billion is required to pay gratuities to local government retirees, who have been retired and have not being paid anything by the government or pension administrators”
The report also lamented the non payment of death gratuity which is meant to ease the suffering of the next of kin of the deceased retirees for state and local government employees have not being paid.
Other issues frowned at by the committee was the refusal of the pension funds administrators to refund the 7.5% contribution to the pension funds and the refusal the pension board to comply with provisions of section 27 (1) of the pension law which requires that:
“The board shall not later than six months after end of each year submit to the Governor and NIGER state house of assembly a report on the activities and administration of the board during the immediate preceding year and shall include in such report the audited account of the board and the audited report thereon for onward presentation to the plenary”
The committee also said it discovered that 6 months after 2017 there is no compliance to the provision of the law by the board.
The committee also said the three departments that should be headed by civil servants not below the rank of directors are being headed by members of the board contrary to section 17 (1) of the law.
The committee therefore resolved that all pension arrears be paid as a matter of urgency and directs that the pension board immediately submit an audited report and account of the board not later one week.
Also a summon be conveyed to the chairman of the review committee, Deputy Governor Ahmed Ketso to appear before the house to clear aspects that affect the permanent secretaries who were paid with the old pension scheme.