17 January 2013

Nigeria: Senate Grossly Misinformed On Pension Fraud, Says Maina

The Chairman, Presidential Task Team on Pension Reform (PTTPR), Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, Wednesday said the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Enyinnaya Abaribe, is grossly misinformed over the alleged N195 billion missing pension funds.

Maina said the Task Team would not want to believe that the statement allegedly credited to Abaribe was a 'campaign of calumny' meant to misinform the public and discredit the Pension Task Team.

Reacting Wednesday to Abaribe's recent statements as published in the media, Maina who was represented by the spokesman of the Task Team, Mr. Hassan Salihu, said the Task Force had no connection with the alleged missing N195 billion pension funds.

While debunking the allegation that the said amount was missing, Maina said: "The Pension Reform Task Team, under my tenure would like to correct the notion and wrong perception of the Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe that the pension team has connection in an alleged missing of N195 billion pension funds in the military, police, State Security Service (SSS), customs, immigration, prison and pension office (CIPPO) and the Head of Service Pension Offices from 2005-2010."

He added that it was important to note that the team is barely two years in office.

According to him, it has become imperative for the public to know that the Pension Task Team does not control or approve the utilisation of the finances of the aforementioned pension offices.

He added: "It could not have been possible for anybody to hold the team accountable for an allegedly missing fund by other pension offices to which the team has no control over."

Continuing, he said: "The Pension Team hopes that the Senate probe committee would fish out these pension thieves, cause their arrest, seize and recover the alleged missing N195 billion pension funds as the pension task team has done so far in recovery and of over N221 billion."

The chairman stressed that the functions of the task team as constituted by government was mainly to restructure and cleanse the system through biometrics capturing, processing of payments of genuine pensioners and blocking loopholes that are prone to corrupt practices.

"These are exactly what the task team has been doing in the last two years, he said.

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