Chinelo Anohu-AmazuThe Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, has sought the appropriation of over N113 billion for the 2017 retirees of the Federal Government, against the initial N50.2 billin submitted in the 2017 Appropriation Bill, thereby resulting in a shortfall of almost N63 billion.
The PenCom boss disclosed this in a memorandum submitted to the National Assembly Joint Committee on Appropriations at the budget defence session on the 2017 budget estimate, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent.
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. This is due to insufficient appropriation and late release of appropriated funds for the payment of accrued pension rights.
Accordingly, Anohu-Amazu said: “We 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 CPS.
Secondly, our submission also seeks appropriation for overhead and capital subvention to facilitate the Commission’s operations in 2017.”She said based on the number of verified and enrolled Federal Government employees that retired from January to December in 2016 under the Scheme as well as deceased employees within 2016, PenCom requested for the provision of the sum of almost N92 billion in the 2016 budget proposals.
However, the National Assembly approved only about N50.2 billion in the 2016 Appropriation Act, thereby resulting in a shortfall of about N41. 72 billion.
She added that of the about N50.2 billion appropriated for the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund (RBBRF) Account in the 2016 budget, only N18.82 billion had so far been released, leaving an outstanding balance of N31.4 billion which are yet to be released.
“Accordingly, the Joint Committee on Appropriations is requested to consider and ensure the appropriation and release of the sum of N73.1 billion to pay January to December 2016 retirees of the Federal Government.”