Nigeria: FG Approves N34 Bilion for Payment of Pension

The Federal Government has approved the release of N34 billion for the payment of the backlog of accrued pension of retirees from the federal civil service from the inception of contributory pension scheme in the country.

The Head of Communications, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mr. Emeka Onuora, who confirmed this in a statement Thursday, said the money would be used to offset the accrued pension rights of the affected retirees.

“PenCom would like to inform the general public, in particular retired employees enrolled with the commission, including the next of kins (NOKs) of deceased employees that have documented with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and documents submitted to the commission but have not been paid their entitlements, that President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the release of N34 billion to off-set the outstanding accrued rights of retirees and death benefits of deceased employees of Federal Government under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS),” he said.

The commission commended the patience of beneficiaries of these funds who were denied of their rights this long and advised them to contact their respective PFAs for the payment of their accrued pension rights.

“Our special thanks go to the thousands of retirees and NOKs of deceased employees for their patience and understanding with the commission during this trying period. We would like to urge the affected individuals to contact their PFAs for the payment of their benefits,” Onuora said.

According to him, following submissions made by the commission to the government on the status of the account and the huge deficit therein, the Minister of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had prevailed on the government to approve the needed funds.

Onuora explained that government had been setting aside five per cent of its total monthly wage bill into the retirement bond redemption account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the settlement of the accrued pension rights of its employees since the commencement of the contributory pension scheme in line with provisions of the Pension Reform Act, 2004.

He also added that the account was overstretched in recent years as a result of the upsurge of retirements from the federal civil service occasioned by the tenure policy, voluntary retirements and thousands of unredeemed death benefit claims resulting into heavy back log of arrears that could not be accommodated due to paucity of funds in the account.

According to him the sufferings of beneficiaries of this money including retirees and relatives of deceased retirees underscored the need for the President Jonathan’s interventions to enable the commission settle outstanding payments to those categories of beneficiaries.

Onuora who commended the gesture of President Jonathan in this regard, said it showed that he had sympathy for the plight of the retirees and next of kins of deceased employees of the government.

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