The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to intervene in the current crisis of unpaid pension arrears threatening the lives of Nigeria’s retired citizens.
This was sequel to a motion by Rep. Toby Okechukwu (Enugu-PDP) and six others.
In the motion, Okechukwu noted that in annual budgetary appropriation, no provision was made for accrued benefits of pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme and Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS).
He expressed concern that under the Contributory Pension Scheme, persons who retired since 2015 had not been paid their pensions.
According to him, this is due to the failure of the Federal Government to contribute its statutory share of 15 per cent to the Pension Redemption Fund in line with the Pension Reform Act, 2014, amounting to a total of N286 billion.
Okechukwu also expressed worry that pensioners under DBS, including Police, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Prisons Service and Civil Service were yet to be paid 33 per cent accrued arrears of about N174 billion.
“The delay in payment of pension arrears has resulted in dire situations where pensioners are wallowing in penury, sickness, hopelessness and regret for serving their fatherland diligently only to be abandoned by government upon retirement,” he said.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members
The house therefore urged the Federal Government to provide emergency bailout funds to pay outstanding workers’ salaries and pension arrears as a primary responsibility.
It also referred the motion to its Committee on Pensions for further inputs.