The Chairman, Senate Joint Committee on Establishment on Public Service Matters and Management of Pension Funds, Senator Aloysius Etok, has said the committee will investigate all Federal Government’s pension offices in the country.
In an interview with our correspondent, Etok said the committee would get to the root of the problems confronting pensioners in the country and would expose the accounts that stolen pension funds had been diverted to.
The Pension Reform Task Force also disclosed on Thursday that it was already planning to commence investigation into the operations of about 40 pension offices nationwide.
“We have investigated many of the pension departments; we will make sure that we touch all the other departments remaining. We are also tracing the accounts in which looted pension funds have been kept,” Etok said.
According to him, the ultimate object of the probe is to ensure that the looted funds are recovered and that pensioners whose names have been removed from the payroll are returned with arrears paid to them.
The senator said the committee was seeking lasting solutions to the pensioners’ problems, which had been in existence for so long.
Etok stressed that those who had served their fatherland, faithfully and satisfactorily must not be subjected to misery of any form.
“In order to put a permanent end to this deplorable and awful situation, the Senate has resolved through the instrumentation of the law and the institutionalism of necessary legal framework on pension administration and management, to correct all the abnormalities inherent thereto,” he said.
The PRT had disclosed on Tuesday that it discovered over 73,000 fake pension accounts illegally opened by government officials from two pension departments of the Federal Government.
The Information and Media Relations Officer, PRT, Mr. Hassan Salihu, said the team had, however, deleted the accounts and saved several billions of naira from being stolen.
He added that the PRT had been able to block several loopholes through which government officials were siphoning money from the country and depriving genuine pensioners their monthly stipends.