The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has revealed that the President Muhammadu Buhari regime has not remitted six months accrued rights of retirees, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), which amounted to about N294billion. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Director-General of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, at the interactive session on 2022-2025 MTEF and FSP, organised by Senate Committee on Finance. Mrs Dahir-Umar was responding to the questions from senators on alleged delayed payment of pension benefits to retirees, possibility of investing pension funds for benefit of the economy, and alleged malpractice by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
She said the government was making frantic efforts to clear the backlog of accrued rights.
According to her, the government had in the last 17 years, consistently paid accrued rights, saying that it only owed six months of accrued rights.
Mrs Dahir-Umar said that the government was paying N49 billion monthly accrued rights in the last 17 years, adding that the federal government via the Debt Management Office (DMO) was on the verge of paying off the balance of accrued rights. On investing the N14 trillion pension fund, she said PenCom was glad to invest the funds on attractive and viable instruments with the full involvement of government and the Federal Ministry of Finance because a lot of guarantees were required. She said PenCom had invested 63 per cent of the pension fund, adding that N9.5 trillion was invested on federal government securities, N1.2 trillion on equity, while 35 per cent was invested in the money market.
She said the funds were not idle, but earning more funds for the contributors.
She explained that employees due for retirement, who didn’t appear for documentation and enrollment risked not getting paid their entitlements on time. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, said the Senate was interested in the activities of PenCom. He urged the commission to generate and pay more funds to the coffers of the federal government, saying that the Senate was considering adoption of cost of collection for MDAs to generate more funds for the government.