The house of representatives has resolved to recover N10 trillion pension funds “borrowed” by the federal government.
The lawmakers passed the resolution during the plenary session on Tuesday after the adoption of a motion sponsored by Aliyu Misau, a lawmaker representing the Misau/Dambam federal constituency of Bauchi.
While moving the motion, Misau said most pensioners are unable to access their retirement funds despite complying with the requirements of the contributory pension scheme.
He said the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the pension fund administrators (PFAs) have not been able to ensure prompt payment of pensioners’ entitlements.
The legislator noted that the N10 trillion pension funds borrowed by the federal government have exposed the contributors to “unnecessary volatility”.
“The pension fund assets which PenCom regulates, being the proceeds of the contributory pension scheme and returns on investment, stood at more than N15.5 trillion as at the close of the first quarter of 2023, hence there is no justification for retirees not to have access to their RSA,” he said.
“Critical stakeholders have expressed concern that 65 percent of the pension funds (N10 trillion) loaned to the federal government is an investment which exposes the contributors to unnecessary volatility as the federal government may fail to pay back the loan in due time.”
Misau added that the inability of the pensioners to access their funds has caused “untold hardship to the retirees” as they are unable to afford “even basic necessities”.
The motion was adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Ben Kalu, deputy speaker, who presided over the plenary.
The house subsequently asked PenCom to ensure the “immediate” release of funds for the payment of pensions to all retirees.
The green chamber also mandated the committee on pensions to “scrutinise” the failure of PFAs in “fulfilling their obligations to retirees” in accessing retirement savings.