Abia, Ebonyi, Imo non-committal to N8.2 trillion pension fund

Pension

Abia, Ebonyi and Imo states have been enlisted among poor performing and non-compliant sub-nationals on the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), currently at N8.2 trillion.

The development portends gloomy future for the states’ workers from their active years to retirement, even as their monthly wages are not only uncertain, but future savings- pension, are not guaranteed.

The National Pension Commission (PenCom), which affirmed the ugly development, had earlier lamented that some states are worse in breaching the constitutional rights of workers.

The Acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, who spoke at the Third Quarter 2018 Consultative Forum for states, in Lagos, said the non-complying states have been causing hitches in actualising some of the objectives of the scheme.

The Acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, spoke at the Third Quarter 2018 Consultative Forum for states, in Lagos, said the non-complying states have been causing hitches in actualising some of the objectives of the scheme.

“The commission respects that constitutional rights that has been given to states, but the law also gave us the power to help guide states, should they want to move from their Defined Benefit Scheme to the CPS.

“The invitation was not only for states that are implementing the CPS, but also for states that are reluctant, perhaps, because they have doubts or are ignorant.

When they attend a forum like this, they are able to share ideas with those states that are already implementing the scheme,” she said.

She reiterated that the commission hopes to encourage non compliant states through the forum, as they would meet states that are implementing the scheme and would dispell their fears about the scheme, knowing that it is the direction that the world is moving.

Worrisome is the fact that the level of efforts in the three states to key into the pension scheme is next to nothing, as workers are owed wages for months and some months’ wages were cut in two.

Mrs. Uloma Sylvanus, a civil servant in Abia State, said while some local government workers have been paid up till May 2018, their counterparts in the health ministry are being owed since February.

For Abia State, it just enacted a law on CPS in 2017 and has not bothered to implement the law, even as payment of salaries is currently staggered across ministries, departments and agencies.

In Imo State, there are also complaints of non-payment of salaries and pensions, while unlike Abia, it has since 2008, enacted the pension law, but similarly, refused to establish administrative structure to drive the implementation.

Ebonyi State enacted it law of pension in 2017, but like Abia and Imo, is yet to establish an administrative structure to drive implementation, a development that leaves their workers with gloomy retirement prospects.

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