By Joshua Egbodo
House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and her Budget and National Planning counterpart, Udoma Udo Udoma, to brief it on steps being taken to offset the federal government’s pension liabilities.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, had, on Wednesday, assured the Nigerian Union of Pensioners of his determination to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on how the over N200 billion liabilities could be urgently paid to the beneficiaries.
The invitation of the two cabinet ministers was fallout of a motion jointly sponsored by Hon. Hassan Shekarau, and five other of his colleagues, expressing concerns on the plight of the nation’s pensioners, and describing the situation as “embarrassing.”
The ministers are scheduled to appear before the entire House at plenary on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 11am.
Shekarau, who moved the motion on behalf of his colleagues yesterday, said “the challenges facing Nigerian pensioners is becoming alarming,” and that the challenges cut across both the contributory pension scheme, and the defined benefit scheme.
The lawmaker expressed worry that despite the noted challenges, there was no adequate provision in the 2017 budget, even after a resolution to that effect was passed by the House, that adequate provisions be made to address the shortfall.
According to him, the total liabilities of the contributory scheme was about N285 billion, and the defined benefit scheme standing at about N174 billion, which had accumulated over the years.
Several members spoke in support of the motion, before it was unanimously adopted through voice votes, when Dogara put a question for that.