The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, resolved to invite the Head of Service of the Federation, Accountant-General of the Federation, Director-General of the National Pension Commission and the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate to appear before its Committees on Pension and Public Service Matters.
The officials are to “provide explanations for the non-payment of pensions and gratuities to retired Federal Civil Servants for nine months.”
The House also mandated its Committees on Pension, Public Service Matters, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with this resolution and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
These resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member, Sergius Ogun, titled ‘Need to Investigate the Non-payment of Pension Arrears of Retired Federal Civil Servants by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.’
Moving the motion, Ogun noted that that Section 88 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.
He added that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution provides that the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of stressing that Section 32(b) of the Pension Reform Act Cap P4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, saddles PTAD) with the responsibility of carrying out functions aimed at ensuring the welfare of pensioners.
According to the lawmaker, pensioners under the defined benefits scheme of PTAD are reportedly owed monthly pensions and gratuities for a cumulative period of nine months.
He said, “The House is disturbed by the claim that the failure of PTAD to pay pensioners under the Defined Benefits Scheme for the said period of nine months is as a result of technological glitches. The failure of PTAD) to pay pensioners’ monthly pensions and gratuities based on technological glitches amounts to gross incompetence and ineffectiveness on the part of PTAD.”
“The House is also cognisant that the claim by PTAD that the technological glitches, which caused it to be in arrears of pension and gratuities is in the domain of the Accountant-General of the Federation and Government Integrated Financial Management System is unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, the House, on Tuesday, stepped down the report on the Harmonised Retirement Age for Legislative Houses in Nigeria Bill 2022, which is seeking to extend the service years of National Assembly workers from 35 years to 40 or retirement age from 60 years to 65 years.