OVER N32BN PENSION FUND CARTED AWAY

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THE Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has disclosed that the Nigerian pension system has been fraught with corruption.
The minister, speaking at a pension forum in Abuja, also disclosed that more than 14 individuals are currently standing trial due to pension scams worth N32 billion in the country.
To sanitise the system, Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that the biometric verification exercise carried out for pensioners had led to the discovery of over 15,000 ghost pensioners, while over N2.1 billion had been saved.
The government, she said, pledged to complete payment of 33 per cent arrears of pensioners as soon as current financial challenge is tackled.
According to her, the 2004 Pension Act made provision for the creation of
Pensioners Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) but said some forces benefiting from the old system made it difficult.
“We really need to give God the glory and to Mr President who found in him the zeal to go ahead to create a new department and ordered a biometric verification so that we can have a true and correct picture of our pensioners,” the minister said.
Affirming President Goodluck Jonathan’s zero tolerance to corruption, the Coordinating Minister said the Federal Government also recovered N110 billion in 2014 by blocking leakages from tax system.
The minister, who said the government was aiming at upping it to N160 billion this year, stated that with the introduction of Single Treasury Account, it had made it difficult for people to take away money through fraudulent means.
“We will now be migrating gradually to the recurrent budget. So, we have an overview of the account,” she said, noting that the next phase would be the parastatals and the whole system of government.
She said: “We are like halfway through, but any other place where there are leakages, we will be taking one by one.”
Source: Tribune

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