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Pension Reform bill, five others scale second reading  



Chamber Senate
Senate in Session


The Senate on Wednesday considered a bill seeking to bring respite to distressed Nigerian retirees.

The bill which passed second reading was tagged “Pension Reform Act 2014 (Amendment), 2022.”

The bill was sponsored by Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto North).

Wamakko, while leading debate on the general principles of the bill, said the bill seeks to amend the Pension Reform Act 2014, to provide for a definite and reasonable percentage a retiree can withdraw from his/her retirement savings accounts.

According to him, the provisions of the bill seeks to also “provide for succor to retirees in the delay and other difficulties they stumble upon in withdrawing their savings from retirement savings account.”

He lamented that the inability of Nigerian pensioners to access their benefits after service had resulted in their suffering which, in most cases, led to eventual and untimely deaths.

“Mr. President, none of us can claim ignorance of the long-drawn-out anguish of retirees from the Civil Service, Nigerian Prison Service, Universities and Parastatals among other Federal Agencies in this country.

“These retirees rather than enjoy retirement after selflessly serving their fatherland, have continued to live in misery and pain, leading to diseases and even death, as they cannot easily access their benefits” he said.

The lawmaker explained that the Pension Reform Act 2004, amended as Pension Reform Act 2014, provides for a departure from the old pension scheme of Defined Benefits’, to the new Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) that established the National Pension Commission (Pen Com).

He noted that in spite of the amendments to the Pension Act, the legislation has failed to achieve its objective of solving the intractable pension crisis in the country.

“Suffice to say that the issue of pension Nigeria has more or less, turned a monster that has defied all efforts by successive governments to contain it.

“In view of the retirees protracted sufferings and pains who are equally Nigerians, continued search for a lasting panacea is a duty bound upon us and all others concerned.”

Wamakko explained that the Act in Section 7(1)(a) was amended in the bill to allow retirees withdraw 75 percent of their benefits.

He bemoaned the situation where pension administrators in the country benefit at the expense of Nigerian pensioners who continue to suffer neglect.

“These Nigerians who have retired from service after several years serving the nation are finding it extremely difficult to be the owners of their pension savings in this new arrangement.

“So, unless that law is made categorically clear that they can withdraw the 75 per cent which we are proposing in this amendment, then they can definitely have some relief as retirees.

“But Mr President, my dear colleagues, of what significance are all these huge assets and sums of money to the owners, the Nigerian pensioners who are dying daily of hunger, disease, and deprivation. I believe this is cruel and unjustifiably inhuman.

“You may recall that the DG Pencom proudly announced that as at 31st July, 2021, that they have an accumulated assets of N12.78 Trillion.

“So let the Nigerian pensioners feel the impact of the assets in the savings they have generated. But the true situation is that only the Pension Administrators a benefitting while the owners continue to suffer total neglect.”

The bill after scaling second reading was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters.

The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the Senate.

In a related development, a total of five bills also passed second reading on Wednesday.

The bills include: a bill to establish the Federal University of Transportation, Daura; and a bill to amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act to strengthen Non- Governmental Organisations in Nigeria.

Others are a bill to establish the Federal University of Medicine and Medical Sciences Egbe, Kogi State; a bill to establish the Federal Medical Centre Ijebu Ode; and a bill to amend the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps Act 2010 to make for the mode of appointment of the Commandant-General of the Corps.

The bills were sponsored by Senators Abdulfatai Buhari (Oyo North), Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central), Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), Mustapha Olalekan (Ogun East) and George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East), respectively.

The Senate President referred the bill to establish the Federal University of Transport, Daura, to the Joint Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; and Land Transport for further work.

He also referred the bill to amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act to the Joint Committee on Trade and Investment; and Diaspora.

On the other hand, the bills to establish the Federal University of Medicine and Medical Sciences Egbe, Kogi State, and Federal Medical Centre Ijebu Ode, were both referred to the Joint Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; and Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Also referred was the bill to amend the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, which was sent to the Committee on Interior for further legislative inputs.

The Senate President gave all the Committees four weeks to report back to the Senate.

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Oyebanji Is Back From USA



Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji
Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji this morning returned from his working visit to the United States of America.

A statement by the Special Adviser ( Media), to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode said Oyebanji arrived the Muritala Mohammed Airport, Lagos around 10am and was received by some government officials.

The Governor will attend to some scheduled meetings in Lagos later today and head to Abuja on Thursday for other scheduled assignments.

Governor Oyebanji, in the course of the working visit to America, had extensive talks with some heads of governments and institutions, business leaders and development partners, exploring investment opportunities for the state’s power infrastructure, the Special Agriculture Processing Zone and the Ekiti Knowledge Zone, among others.

“These were outside his participation in the US-Africa Business Summit and the signing of MOU with CAVISTA Holdings for a multi billion naira 100,000 hectares cassava farm in the state.” the statement said.

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Labour Rejects FG’s Fresh ₦54,000 Minimum Wage Proposal



NLC Flag


The Federal Government has proposed to pay N54,000 as minimum wage, as the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage returned to the negotiation table after the Organised Labour pulled out of the negotiations last week.

At the reconvened meeting this week, the Federal Government made a fresh proposal to pay N54,000 as against the initial N48,000 it proposed during the last sitting.

However, a reliable source at the meeting said that the Organised Labour refused the new proposal, as it is a far cry from the N615,000 proposed by both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

According to the source, the meeting which held behind closed doors at the Nicon luxury hotel in Abuja on Tuesday has been adjourned to Wednesday, May 22 to continue with negotiations.

The Organised Labour comprising the NLC and the TUC had on Tuesday given the Federal Government up till the end of May to conclude negotiations for a new minimum wage.

The unions also directed their members in states that are owing the N30,000 minimum wage to gear up for industrial action.

May 31 Deadline
The Federal Government had failed to present a nationally acceptable minimum wage to Nigerians before the May 1 Labour Day.

The situation has forced labour to be at loggerheads with the government. In the wake of the tussle, NLC President Joe Ajaero insisted on the N615,000 minimum wage, arguing that the amount was arrived at after an analysis of the economic situation worsened by the hike in the cost of living and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

With the cost of living rising following the removal of fuel subsidy, calls for a new minimum wage have continued to make headlines in Nigeria.

Ajaero and labour leaders gave the Federal Government a May 31 deadline to meet their demands.


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EFCC Arrests 78 Internet Fraudsters In Enugu, Imo



Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede

The operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested 78 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu and Imo States.

EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Oyewale noted that 29 suspected internet fraudsters were arrested in Enugu metropolis on May 15, while 49 others were nabbed in Imo State on May 17.

He said the suspects were arrested following actionable intelligence about their suspected involvement in online criminal activities.

The EFCC spokesperson listed items recovered from the suspects to include 13 cars, mobile phones, and laptops.

Oyewale added that the suspected internet fraudsters would be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigations.

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