The Niger State Pension Board disclosed that Fifteen persons have been fingered in the alleged N5.778 billion missing pension contribution in the state from 2009 to 2012.
The Director-General of the state’s pension board, Alhaji Usman Tinau Muhammed, disclosed this during a press briefing to announce the resumption of the state to the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
It would be recalled that the state suspended the scheme in 2015 because of what was described as pressure on the then administration in the state.
“A forensic audit report has confirmed that N5.778bn pension fund is missing and this was because the money did not pass through the pension board.
“Fifteen people were also mentioned in the report and anybody identified would be invited for a discussion on the matter.
“We will talk to the people so that the state asset can be recovered from them.
“The matter would also be referred to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for further investigation,” Muhammed said.
On the resumption of CPS, the DG noted that the old pension scheme was bedeviled with a lot of challenges while the CPS guaranteed that at the end of retirement, employees are sure of getting their entitlement in a lump sum and monthly pension promptly.
He explained that the state is resuming the scheme as a result of a recommendation by the committee set up by the state government headed by the Deputy Governor that worked for one year and came up with the recommendation.
“Deduction for the CPS starts from June 2020 and the system exempt those employees from 1992 downward which means it will start with employees from 1993.
“The contribution would be 7.5% from the employee and 10.5% from the state government,” he said.
According to Muhammed, the state as of December 2019 has 8,633 names on the old pension scheme for the state while local governments have 7046.
He added that on the CPS, there are 22,000 names for state employees while they are still battling to have an authentic list for the local government saying the difference won’t be much but it is estimated at about 25,000.
To guide against fraud for the new scheme, the DG said the deductions would be made by the ministry of finance, local government service commission, ministry of local government and SUBEB which would be remitted to the pension board for onward payment into the pension fund accounts.
He also commended the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello for granting permission for the resumption of the scheme, adding that it was one the promises he made during his campaign for the second tenure.