Niger Lawmakers Amend Pension Act

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Governor Sani Bello of Niger State
Governor Sani Bello of Niger State

From Tunde Bolaji, Minna

The Niger State House of Assembly has refused to withdraw the state from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) despite clamour for this by organised labour in the state.
The House, which received the report of its committee on Labour, Finance, Local Government and Judiciary on Thursday instead of asking the government to withdraw from the CPS decided that workers who had been in employment before the introduction of the policy in 2006 be exempted from the scheme while those employed in 2006 and beyond should remain in the scheme.
Chairman of the committee, Madaki Malik Bosso, who submitted the report to the assembly which was subsequently passed by the committee of the whole recommended that the areas of the bill where ‘repeal’ was recommended should be replaced with ‘amendment’.
This was even after the committee in its report conceded to the fact that the Contributory Pension Scheme ‘is domesticated in only 6 of the 36 states of the federation showing clearly its unacceptability’.
The Assembly also noted a lot of discrepancies from the various reports submitted to its committee on the contributions by workers, saying that while the Pension Funds Administrators claimed that over N22.625bn was contributed between the period the scheme started and last year the pension Board said N35.8bn was collected.
The House discovered also that majority of workers in the local governments of the state were neither registered with nor did they have any retirement savings accounts with any Pension Fund Administrator.
However, the House which directed that the amended bill be sent to Governor Sani Bello for his assent did not recommend punishment or recovery of any lost fund.

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