Thursday, 30 March 2017
Reps summon Ngige, Adeosun over N302.4bn pensions liabilities
The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, and the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to appear in plenary next Thursday to provide details on how the Federal Government intends to offset its N302. 4 billion outstanding liability to pensioners.
Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, who issued the summons yesterday during a courtesy call by the National Union of Pensioners (NUP), stated that the ministers and heads of relevant agencies such as the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) must appear before Green Chamber next week to proffer a holistic solution to the problem of outstanding pension payments.
Dogara, who was responding to the plea of the NUP President, Dr. Abel Afolayan, who led his members to meet with him at the National Assembly, pledged that the House will assist pensioners to convince the Federal Government to make provision of sufficient funds in the 2017 Appropriation Bill towards offsetting the outstanding pension liabilities both under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and the Contributory Pensions Scheme (CPS).
“We will yield the floor to them, so that they can tell Nigerians what they have done to get us out of this mess by 2017,” the Speaker stressed.
Citing Section 173 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, which states that pension and gratuity are rights that should be upheld for deserving Nigerians, Dogara stated that timely payment of pension and gratuity is key to stemming corruption in the public sector.
Earlier in his speech, Afolayan said several pensioners have died of poverty, hunger and treatable diseases because they hadn’t been paid for months.
He emphasised the need to put pension on first line charge, “so that pension payment will not go through the traditional rigorous budgetary allocation process.”
He said the 2017 liabilities for pensioners was “under-defined”, adding that while the 2017 proposal is N302.4 billion, the Executive’s submission is N109.123 billion leaving a difference of N193.282 billion.
“Regarding Contributory Pension Scheme (CBS), we have gathered the following facts and figures: a total of N91,914,899,000 was requested for in 2016 Federal Government appropriation bill, but the National Assembly approved N50,195,808,918 resulting in a Reps summon of N41,719,090,082,” Afolayan said.
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