From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger State Pension Board has dismissed a publication in some national dailies and online media it described as a ‘mischievous report’ dated 3rd January 2020, of alleged scam in the Board which was attributed to a group called ‘Concerned Citizens’ of Niger State.
This was contained in a statement issued at the weekend by the Board Director General, Alhaji Mohammad Tinau and made available to journalists in Minna, saying that “ordinarily we would have ignored the mischief but we will not allow the public to be misinformed nor misled.”
The statement added that over N20 billion has been expended to date by the current administration for the payment of pension and retirement benefits ,death as well as contract gratuities left unpaid for several years, hence, the Board will not hesitate to take legal action against any act that causes opprobrium to any official of the Board.
Tinau explained that the allegation credited to the purported group leaders as “in all rational purposes aimed at carrying out hatchet job for self-serving people hence for the purpose of clarity the allegations contained in the report were nothing but empty from the fidgement of the imagination of the sponsors.
Accordingly, “It is on record that no administration since inception of Niger state has invested so heavily in pension administration as done from 2016 to -date by the administration of His Excellency Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, the Governor of Niger state”
Consequently, the group in its petition letter dated 11th December, 2019 and signed by it Chairman, Alhaji Awaisu Guwahati Kuta and Secretary, Adamu Lambata however, expressed worried that despite the billions of Naira released to the board for regular payment of retirees pension and gratuity, the plight of the pensioners could better imagined than experience, calling for the investigation of the board.
He then reassured Nigerlites that in pension Board will continue to work assiduously for the welfare of pensioners and all retirees in line with our mandate and as resources is available, because no amount of mischief can derail us. adding that it was ‘a clear mischief and hatchet work to alleged any form of scam in pension administration in the state’.
Tinau advised journalists to cross check their facts in line with their professional calling before going to press and should desist of being a tool in the hands of perpetual mischief maker who has taken mischief as occupation as exemplified by Aweisu Wana and Adamu Lambata.
In the same vein, the DG said that those reverted back to old pension scheme from the Contributory Pension Scheme by the new pension laws in the state were refunded back their 7.5 percent contribution and their benefits paid. This particular action is adjudged as the most unprecedented gesture by any government in the history of pension administration in any state across the federation.
He stated that, “We had made it article of Transparency and openness to publish regularly list of beneficiaries as we make payment for public to be aware. This is also an indication that the administration of His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello has brought sanity and standardize pension administration in the state.”