The 7th Senate created more problems than solutions to the fraud in Nigeria’s pension system.
That is an accusation created to the wanted former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Maina made the accusation in a letter he wrote to the upper legislative house on 19 June, 2015.
The letter was titled: “Pension reform task team — Appeal for review of investigation by the Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Government Administration, 2011 – 2013.”
Maina alleged that more than N3tn hidden had yet to be recovered from 97 pension offices before he fled Nigeria.
Reports say the leaked letter, referenced PRTT/PEN/NASS/SEN/16/ VOL1/05, was transferred to the Red Chamber through Senator Nneji Achonu’s office to the Senate President.
The embattled former pension boss noted that the task team saved the country N1.6tn from “pension thieves.”
The pension reform under Maina started in January 2011.
And he said, “we used financial intelligence to achieve groundbreaking achievements in our assignment.”
“N256bn is still stolen monthly. As it is, there is a leakage of N256bn monthly from the current IPPIS, which needs to be blocked urgently. We are also aware of some government hidden accounts which need to be mopped up. We can be used to engage any department of government in sanitising the financial workflow to avoid loose ends that remain susceptible to leakages,” Maina wrote.
“Based on the revelations of massive/monumental fraud and outright stealing of pension funds, which was brought to public attention by the PRTT, the 7th National Assembly by resolution dated November 2, 2011, mandated its Committee on Establishment and Public Service, State and Local Government Administration, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the management and administration of Pension funds in Nigeria.
“There were general expectations that the various dimensions of irregularities associated with the management of pension funds in Nigeria would come to an end as a consequence of the investigations being conducted by the Senate Joint Committee.”
Maina added that the Senate Joint Committee eventually created more problems than solutions to the fraud in the system.
“Some pensioners got a backlog of about 30 years paid into their accounts. All payments were ordered under the signature of the Head of Service monthly,” Maina said.
He further noted that shortly after he was dismissed, the Office of the Head of Service was enmeshed in a N35bn fraud.