The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, said it had probed pension frauds to the tune of N157 billion.
The agency said urgent reform was needed to deliver an efficient, effective and sustainable pension administration system in the country.
The Director of Operations EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, disclosed this at a two-day sensitisation programme on the theme: ‘Eradication of Pension Fraud in Nigeria,’ in Abuja.
In the same vein, Chukkol, who represented the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, on the occasion, called for concerted action by all stakeholders in ensuring an efficient, effective and fraud-free pension system in Nigeria.
According to him, the EFCC as the coordinating agency for the enforcement of all economic and financial crimes laws is conversant with the rot in the pension sector.
“We have investigated and documented hundreds of billions of Naira lost to fraud in the pension industry.
“However, beyond the money, is also the unquantifiable loss of dignity in the retiree who has to grovel and beg (and even die in some instances) in order to access his contributions.
“It is the shame of a nation that those who have contributed their most productive years to us in various capacities have to go through hell to live in retirement.
“We worry about the quality of regulation, the fidelity of pension managers and the inefficiency in the management of pension assets which have grave consequences for the national economy, not to talk of the perception of Nigeria as a country where anything criminal is possible”, he said.
All of these, Bawa added, provide the impetus for a national conversation and concerted action from everyone involved in pension management and regulation.
According to him, the two-day Summit offers the stakeholders the opportunity “to introspect and take stock of the measures put in place over the years to improve and sanitize pension administration in Nigeria, as well as seek explanations as to why the pension system seems not to be meeting the needs or living up to the yearnings of pensioners, despite the best intentions of industry stakeholders.