From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger State Pension Board is said to commenced the suspended deduction of Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) from the state and local government civil servants in the state as recommended by the state committee and approved by governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
The Director General DG of Pension Board, Malam Mohammad U. Tinau made the disclosure in an interactive session with journalists yesterday in Minna, saying that this will take effect from June 2020.
He explained that all necessary measures has been put in place to forestall the past experienced were the state could not secured the funds accrue from the scheme hence the suspension six (6) years ago March 2015 by the past administration of Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu.
The DG noted that with the current review of pension laws in the state, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has approved the 7.5% for employees deduction with governments to contribute 10.5% instead of the past same percentage while 5% for Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
He stressed that the state CPS Commission led by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso including all the relevant stakeholders has taken in to cognizance all the foreseen problems associated with the scheme and possible recommendations to curb them accordingly.
Tinau stated that the resumption was sequel to the issues bedeviled with old pension that led to the introduction of CPS in Nigeria in 2004 in which Niger state started in 2007 and 2009 for state and local government workers respectively.
He maintained that only five (5) Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) were recommended to manage the funds now after serious scrutiny rather than the past nineteen (19), they include; Premium Pension for state, Trust Fund for local government, FAD for SUBEB while two others to 5% deduction to manage the state and council funds, just as the on 14th June, 2020 the report was approved and Pension Board have swung into action for its implementation therein.
He reiterated that funds deducted must be remitted the Pension Board whose accounts are transit in which the deposited money must be transfer within two weeks, therefore, nobody can temper with the said money warning that any PFA who can not measure up would be deregistered.
Director General further revealed that over ninety percent (90%) of the reversed CPS workers has been refunded and those few outstanding has gaps that are to be sorted out, adding that Group Life Insurance is very important because it’s for death while in service hence they are entitled to 3 years emolument before the RSA payment to the next of kin.
Meanwhile, the Director General has reassured workers of utmost accountability and transparency in all its dealings while he commended the state governor for the reversal of the scheme and steps taken to properly safeguard the said funds.
Consequently, the board monthly payments of pension stood at N478 million for state and N287 million for local governments while revealing that the alleged N6.2 billion missing during last administration said that N5.778 billion was discovered after a forensic auditing.