HoS office looted N501bn pension funds – Probe panel

18

• N3.3trn looted since 1976

• 50,000 pensioners not paid in 42 years

From IKENNA EMEWU, Abuja

The lid on a can of worms has been lifted with the damning revelation of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) report on how retired workers fund has been managed over time.

From the revelations, it had been a conduit for a bazaar of looting and fraud masterminded by serving civil servants against their colleagues who had left service.

The 18-page report by the panel headed by Abdulrasheed Maina stank with details of organised crime in government offices.

Since the team completed its work, there seem to have been a grand design to ensure the report that had been ready for some months was not made public.

Armed with a copy of the summary report released two weeks ago, Daily Sun could authoritatively report that the pension problem exposed one of the dirtiest organised fraud rings in the nation via pension fund.

In the last week of October, a member of the team, Ngozika Ihuoma, in a visit to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, had revealed that since 1976, N3.3 trillion had been deducted from the pensions fund nationwide without proper accountability.

Ihuoma also told ICPC that the local government pension fund was another fraud flashpoint that needed closer look.

However, while the team released a summary of its report, which was suppressed from the public, a Senate probe of pension scam between April and July this year, described as the longest and most windy probe by the Senate, indicted the team’s report.

At a point, the Chairman of the Senate Pension Committee, Senator Aloysius Etuk, ordered for the arrest and prosecution of Maina.

But in another twist, the team denied any complicity in its work.

Till date, the result of the probe by the Senate had not been made public apart from the indictment and arrest of certain persons by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), especially a director in the pension board, Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu.

During the Senate probe, the drama heightened the day Shuaibu, in defending himself, accused the former head of service (HoS), Mr. Steve Oronsaye, of complicity.

He had alleged that Oronsaye managed most of the pension money and had collapsed over 20 bank accounts into one bank account somewhere in Wuse II, Abuja, which he personally managed.

With an average monthly theft of N5 billion pension funds, especially by the office of the HoS of the Federation and the Police Pension Board, the two offices had in the past 10 years looted N600 billion belonging to retired workers, the report revealed.

Shocking also was the fact that while the serving workers lined their pocket with the loot, an average of 50,000 pensioners had not been paid their pensions since retirement in the past 42 years.

The report said: “Some of them retired over 42 years ago. But so far, the task team has included these pensioners on the payroll and their accrued arrears and gratuities all paid to them. This effort has drastically reduced the volume of complaints and the petitions over the non-payment of pensions.

“In the last two years, we conducted biometrics for 170, 000 pensioners, pioneered the payment of pensioners in the Diaspora, recovered and saved over N221.855 billion from two pension offices. Detected and deleted 73, 000 ghost pensioners from HoS and Police Pension Office (PPO).

“We also discovered about 50, 000 unpaid pensioners and we paid all their entitlements.”

The reform team also boasted that it stopped “the monthly stealing of N4.175 billion from HoS pensions office. We also saved N1 billion monthly releases. While the police pension used to be a monthly bill of N1.59 billon, the team cut it down to N500m.”

In addition, the team detected pension fraud of over N2.7 billion by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP).

The report said: “While the retired workers were victims of their compatriots still in service, they also victimized themselves through the NUP.

“The PRTT discovered that the bank accounts of the NUP were used as conduit pipe to steal pensioners’ fund from the HoS office. The fund was illegally transferred in the name of check-off dues payment to the union. This led to the arrest of the NUP president by the EFCC.”

On page 10, the report submitted: “As a result of the biometrics verification conducted by the pension task team in a transparent manner, the monthly pension bill of N5 billion was drastically reduced to an average of N825 million. Impliedly, N4.175 billion was corruptly stolen on monthly basis by government officials in the Head of Service Pension Office.”

If the monies sound alarming, you would need to hear the team reveal: “The Police Pension Office requested N24 billion while they needed only N3.4 billion for harmonisation arrears.”

The team lamented in its report that “while pensioners were roaming the streets of Abuja and turning the office of the Head of Service to destitution camp, there were notorious pension cartels and mafia operating in the pension system of the country.

“There has also been brazen and direct stealing of pension funds from the banks through the use of cheques in conspiracy with bank operatives and primary school teachers across the country.”

One of the channels of siphoning the pension fund by the civil servants include the opening of multiple bank accounts through which most monies were lodged and left and sometimes forgotten by the government.

It said: “We noticed the opening of multiple bank accounts by pension offices in contravention of the financial regulations. For instance, the HoS pension office opened 66 bank accounts in Nigeria and an offshore account, the police pension opened nine bank accounts.”

To its amazement, the team found that prior to its work, the nation never had a “reliable pensioners’ data for budgeting and administrative purposes.”

But at the police pension office, the team encountered the worst obstacle in its operation as the workers there, who had been feeding fat on the loot of other workers’ pensions, made sure they never obtained the assistance to enable them do their work.

“Due to sabotage, the Police Pension Office released only about 40 per cent of all pensioners files to the PRTT, while 60 per cent of the pensioners files are still in their custody and could not be treated,” it remarked.

The damning report implies that all Nigerians who served, as HoS, would have so much to explain to Nigeria on why that office, as a culture, became an undertaking agency for the mismanagement of pension fund.

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18 Comments

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  2. Pingback: HoS office looted N501bn pension funds | OSUN DEFENDER

  3. this same man again, Oronsaye from HOS pention found to NNPC, this guy has kiiled this country, shame on you and your whole family.

  4. THE BEST THING TO DO FOR NIGERIA NOW IS DIVIDE NIGERIA LET THAT 19 STATE FROM NORTH GO THEIR OWN WAY, NIGERIA IS IN A CAGE OF GUN POWDER WAITING TO EXPLODE, SINCE THE 1967 GENOCIDE AGAINST SOUTH-WEST, WHAT IS THE FACE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO SOUTH EAST? SINCE WE SAID WE ARE ONE NIGERIA WHAT MAKES US ONE NIGERIA? EVERY THING IS SEND TO LAGOS, WHY CANT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DI CONGEST LAGOS?? MUST NIGERIA BUILD EVERYTHING IN LAGOS? WHAT HAPPENED TO OTHER PART OF SOUTH EAST? NOW THEY WANT TO BUILD BIG REFINERY IN LAGOS WHY? THEY CRY FOR BOKO HARAM SOON IF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS BOKO HARAM AS THEY SAID, ANOTHER BIG BOKO HARAM WILL EMERGE, IS ONLY IN NIGERIA THAT GOVERNMENT PAYS TERRORIST WHY? ARE WE SURE NIGERIA WILL EXIST IN 2015?? BIG SHAME TO USELESS PERSONAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, BIG SHAME TO YOU ALL FOOLS IN POWER

  5. Is this not the same ORASONYE crying foul about Ribadu`s report……always fingered wherever there is corruption…beats my imagination

  6. THE WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS
    AS YOU MAY HAVE KNOWN, I AM FROM RIVERS STATE AND MARRIED AN IGBO WOMAN FROM UMUAHIA. THE ATTITUDE OF MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS TELL ME A LOT OF STORIES ABOUT THE IGBOS. I CAN CONFIRM THAT GOD IS WITH THE IGBOS. MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS ARE FANTASTIC PEOPLE. I HAVE 8 CHILDREN , FOUR BOYS AND FOUR GIRLS FROM MY DEAR WIFE. THEY ARE THE PRIDE OF MY COMMUNITY TODAY. MY SECOND WIFE IS FROM IS FROM AKURE AND SHE HAS 3 CHILDREN FOR ME. SHE ALWAYS COMMENDS THE IGBOS. SHE IS STILL WITH ME AND ALL OF US LIVE IN HARMONY TOGETHER.
    YORUBAS LISTEN. IT IS US NON-IGBOS THAT DID WRONG TO THE IGBOS DURING THE CIVIL WAR. THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE LIES GOWON AND HIS BROTHERS TOLD US IN THE RIVERS STATE AT THAT TIME. THEY TOLD US THAT IF WE LEAVE THE PROPERTY OF THE IGBOS, WE WOULD BE THE GREATEST LOSERS. CEAZE THEIR PROPERTY AND THEY WILL NOT HAVE MEANS TO SURVIVE AND YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM THAT. THEY TOLD US THAT THE IGBOS ARE BAD AND WOULD BUILD ALL OVER THE STATE AND OUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE NO PLACE TO BUILD IN FUTURE. WE BELIVED THEM AND SEAZED THEIR PROPERTY. WE SACKED THEM FROM OUR STATE. THEY WENT TO THEIR STATE, SOUTH/EASTEN STATE. WE THOUGHT THEY WERE DYING. THEY SURVIVED MORE THAN US WHO WERE DECEIVED BY AND AWOLOWO. PLEASE DO NOT BE ANNOYED BECAUSE I MENTION AWOLOWO HERE. WE NIGERIANS OWE APOLOGY TO THE IGBOS BECAUSE WE DID THEM WRONG BY THE WAY WE TREATED THEM DURING THE WAR. I DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU WILL FEEL IF THE BUILDINGS YOU IN ONITSHA , OWERRI, ENUGU WERE TO BE SEAZED BY THESE STATES ESPECIALLY IF ANOTHER PERSON FROM ANOTHER STATE WERE TO INSTIGATE THAT SEISURE. IF YOU ARE FROM LAGOS , AND HAD BUILDINGS IN IBADAN, AKURE, ONDO OSHOGBO WERE TO BE SEIZED BY AN INSTIGATION FROM SOMEBODY FROM THE NORTH. YOU ARE FROM THE WESTERN REGION AS THE IGBOS WERE FROM THE EASTERN REGION. WE WERE THE SAME REGION UNTIL GOVWON DECEIVED US TO DO WHAT WE DID.
    HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU HAD £2,000,000, IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND SOMEBODY CAME AND SAID YOU HAVE RIGHT TO ONLY £20? THINK ABOUT IT. SURELY YOU WILL FEEL VERY BAD. DURING AND AFTER THE WAR ONE OF OUR BROTHERS, A WRITER WOULD NOT LET IGBOS TO REST. HE PAID FOR IT. YOU CANNOT SLAP A BABY AND AT THE SAME TIME TELL HIM NOT TO CRY. I AN NOW 84 YEARS OLD AND WHAT I SAY IS TRUE BECAUSE I WAS AROUND WHEN MEETINGS WERE HELD TO SEE WHAT TO DO WITH THE IGBOS. I DID NOT KNOW THE IMPLICATIONS UNTILL SOME FEW YEARS LATER. WE THOUGHT WE WOULD BE BETTER THAN THE IGBOS. WERE NOT.
    MY DEAR PEOPLE FROM YORUBA LAND, CHINUA ACHEBES WRITE-UP DID NOTN INSULT THE YORUBAS. HE TALKED ABOUTG ONE PERSON LATE CHIEF AWOWLO. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN IT AS IF ACHEBE INSULTED THE YORUBA RACE. YOU ARE WRONG. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY AND WRITE. THE HOUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US HERE IN THE SOUTH IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT. THE OTHER DAY A FRIEND OF MINE TOOK US TO HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL IN PORT HARCOURT. THIS WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS CAME UP. ONE ALHAJI AND HIS FRIENDS WERE ON A DIFFERENT TABLE EATING AND DRINKING. I HEARD THEM SAY THAT IF THERE IS A WAY TO MAKE THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS FIGHT, THAT THEY IN THE NORTH WILL BE VERY HAPPY. I WANTED TO CHALLNGE THEM BUT MY FRIEND RESTRAINED ME FROM DOING SO. THE WRITING OF ACHEBE SHOULD NOT CAUSE THIS TYPE OF ACRIMONY. MY PEOPLE SAY NOW THAT IF THE IGBOS ARE ELIMINATED, IT WILL BE VERY EASY FOR THE NORTH TO OVER RUN THE SOUTH TO FULFILL WHAT AHMADU BELLOW SAID. THAT PUSHING THE SOUTH INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. YORUBA PEOPLE, PLEASE STOP THIS WAR.
    TO THE IGBOS
    YOU SUFFERED HUMILIATION AT THE INSTANT OF THE NORTHERNERS. YOU DID NOT DIE RATHER YOU CAME UP STRONGER THAN YOU WERE. I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO FORGIVE AND FORGETWHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST. LOOK AQT THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS. THEY SUFFERED AND NOW SEE HOW STRONG THEY ARE. MY FATHER USED TO TELL ME THAT IGBOS HAVE JEWS ORIGIN. MY SON WHO WENT TO ISRAEL LAST MONTH TOLD ME THAT SOME NAMES THERE ARE LIKE IGBO NAMES. A BOOK I READ SOME FOUR YEARS AGO SAID THAT THE IGBOS HAD THEIR ORIGIN IN THE HEBREW. THEY ARE GOD’S PEOPLE. PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS WAR OF WORDS TOBRING SOMETHING NASTY IN THE SOUTH. THE HAUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US IN THE SOUTH. YORUBA/IGBO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. LET US IN THE SOUTH FORGE AHEAD TOGETHER. NO MORE RANCOUR, NO LOVE LOST. LET US LIVE TOGETHER. WOLE SONYINKA, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLE. CHINUA ACHEBE, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLETO STOP AND FORGIVE THE INJURIES THEY SUSTAINED. GOD WILL HELP THEM.
    LONG LIVE YORUBA, LONG LIVE IGBO, LONG LIVE US IN THE RIVERS STATE. I SAY RIVERS STATE BECAUSE WE HAVE MANY TIBES HERE. SO I PREFER TO USE THE WORD RIVERS STATE.

  7. GEJ, Joint National Assembly, ICPC, EFCC, etc. this could be the only thing you can be credited with if this democracy can find a solution to this evil ‘pension fraud’. How long shall we continue like this. Does it mean that you people can’t do anything? As broad as you people have gone, don’t you know or have you not heard how pension is handled in other countries? Why must we continue like this? It only shows that you people collect your pension in office by looting and making laws that will not find you guilty while in office and so you don’t need pension when you leave office, shikinah. Is a shame. Ordinary Nigerians who had served this land and retired are dying daily just because of careless government who don’t have feeling/concern for its citizenry. Is rarely a shame. If you ‘government’ don’t do anything, this injustice/wickedness will not stop, and you know it. All the same, we leave you people in the hands of the Almighty God, who is in heaven and He is watching you, your children, and your lineage.

  8. The task force is equally corrupt. if not, what is it doing managing the pension fund. It should have done its founding, write a report, close all the loophole & quit or remain as a watch dog. they discovered a lot fraud reduce it & they are enjoying the rest, that is why they do not want quit the management of the fund which is illegal by law establishing pension fund management. they discovered 73,000 ghost pensioner & deleted it, another 50,000 that have not been paid &
    pay them. simple, they reduce the 73,000 ghost pensioners to 50,000. wonder of jiaga people. corruption did not start today in nigeria, it has eating deep into the system & life of Nigerians. may GOD save us in Jesus name amen.

  9. Maina is just an empty barrel! All he is doing is creating attention to himself by buying the media to propagate falsehoods and imaginary achievements. That guy is a crook that needs to be checked. You don’t manipulate records of pensioners month to month and say you are saving pension funds that were being looted. Most pensioners are paid in some months and their names omitted in subsequent months; while he goes around media houses spreading brown envelopes to falsely claim he is saving billions for the govt or caught pension thieves. His real self would be truly revealed soon. I am a banker in a new generation bank and I am aware of his racketeering with CIPPO pension funds in the banks in Abuja, which has been on for years. He collects brokerages from huge forgotten pension funds (in billions) placed with various banks. The kettle calling the pot black. God will expose and punish all the pension fund looters, whether in head of service, police, military, CIPPO (including Maina himself). Amen.

  10. I dnt kno wht 2tel ds country. Kno dt we d youths are watching. I dnt want to believe dat wht am reading is true. Nawa oooooo. This one na Nigerian-Wonder!!!

  11. STEVE ORONSAYE,
    YOUR NAME HAS CAME UP AGAIN IN ANOTHER FRAUD IN HEAD OF SERVICE (HOS) PENSION. THE LOOTING HAS MADE YOU GONE CRAZY THAT YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING ANYMORE. ONLY YOU IN HEAD OF SERVICE, EXECUTIVE MEMBER IN NNPC AND PETROLEUM TASK FORCE. YOU HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE A GOOD LOOTER THATS WHY YOU ARE BEEN NOMINATED BY YOUR GUYS TO PLAY THE USUAL ROLE SO THAT THE REPORT WILL NOT SEE THE LIGHT OF THE DAY. WE HAVE MILLIONS OF GRADUATES ON THE STREET AND ONE PERSON IS OCCUPYING 3 POSITIONS IN GOVT. WHAT A GREED. NIGERIANS ARE NOT SURPRISED AT ALL. YOU WILL GO TO THE GRAVE WITH ALL YOUR LOOTS LIKE OTHERS OR YOUR CHILDREN WILL SCUANDER THE LOOT AND BECOME NUISANCE IN THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE ALOT OF THEM AROUND US. ITS NOT YOU ALONE MIND YOU.
    I THANK GOD THAT JONATHAN AND DIEZANI MADUEKE ARE TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY BREAK THESE CARTELS THAT HAS HOLD THIS COUNTRY IN THE JUGULAR ALL IN THE NAME OF LEADERS. I WONDER WHAT KIND OF LEADERS YOU ALL ARE. LOOK AT THE WESTERN WORLD WE ARE COPYING FROM. IS THIS HOW THEY ARE RUNNING THEIR AFFAIRS AND THEY ARE DEVELOPING. LOOK AT SOUTH AFRICA, GHANA AND OTHER SMALLER AFRICAN COUNTRIES TO MENTION BUT A FEW. THEY ARE FAST DEVELOPING RAPIDLY AND YOU OUR SO CALLED LEADERS ARE HERE RUNNING THINGS UPSIDE DOWN.
    MAY GOD ALMIGHTY HAVE MERCY.

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