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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has requested for the appropriation of N113,023,255,000.00 for Federal Government retirees in 2017, as against the sum of N50,195,808,918.00 submitted by Federal Government in the 2017 appropriation bill, thereby resulting in a shortfall of N62,827,446,082.00.
PenCom made the submission in a memorandum submitted to the National Assembly Joint Committee on appropriations at the budget defence session on the 2017 budget estimate from appropriation in Abuja.
PenCom Director-General, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, at the presentation.
The commission noted that the entire fund should be approved in pursuant to Section 39(3) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014. The pension regulator maintained that the most critical challenge of the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Nigeria today is the non-payment of retirement benefits of Federal Government employees who retired in 2016 due to insufficient appropriation and late release of appropriated funds for payment of accrued pension rights.
“PenCom would like to make a case first, on the need for adequate appropriation of funds for the payment of the Federal Government’s pension liability under the Contributory Pension Scheme. Secondly, our submission also seeks appropriation for overhead and capital subvention to facilitate the Commission’s operations in 2017.
“Based on the number of verified and enrolled Federal Government employees that retired from January to December in 2016 under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as well as deceased employees within 2016, PenCom requested for the provision of the sum of N91,914,899,000.00in the 2016 FGN Appropriation Bill. However, the National Assembly approved only the sum of N50,195,808,918.00 in the 2016 Appropriation Act, thereby resulting in a shortfall of N41,719,090,082.00,” it said.
It noted that out of the N50,195,808,918.00 appropriated for the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund (RBBRF) Account in the 2016 Appropriation Act, only N18,823,428,342.00 had so far been released into the RBBRF Account as at date, adding that this leaves an outstanding balance in the sum of N31,372,380,576.00 which are yet to be released for 2016.
“Accordingly, the Joint Committee on Appropriations is requested to consider and ensure the appropriation and release of the sum of N73,091,470,658.00 to pay January to December 2016 retirees of the Federal Government.
“Based on the number of verified and enrolled Federal Government employees that will retire from January to December in 2017 under the CPS, PenCom determined and requested for the provision of the sum of N113,023,255,000.00 in the 2017 FGN Appropriation Bill. However, we observed that in the proposal to the National Assembly, the Federal Government submitted only the sum of N50,195,808,918.00 in the 2017Appropriation Bill, thereby resulting in a shortfall of N62,827,446,082.00,” it said.