The Kaduna State Government has commenced payment of pension benefits to civil servants who retired in 2017 under the new contributory pension scheme. The government also announced that it is now set to liquidate the inherited arrears of pension, gratuity and death benefits, amounting to almost N15bn that have been pending since 2011.
At an event held today at the State House, Kawo, Governor Nasir El-Rufai presented exit letters to the first set of public sector workers to retire since the new Kaduna State Contributory Pension Scheme went into effect on 1 January 2017. The exit letters were issued by the pension fund administrators to which the retirees are registered.
Speaking at the event, Governor El-Rufai explained what the government is doing about pensions and arrears. “We inherited gratuities and death benefits liabilities of nearly N15bn when we came into office. And I am happy to say that now we are in a position to begin to clear those arrears in the next couple of weeks.
“With the contributory pension scheme effective in the state since January 2017, retirees can now transit from being workers in January to being recipients of pension in February within a month.
“This demonstrates that our government is determined to end the hardship that pensioners often encounter and the uncertainty of receiving payments under the old scheme.”
Salamatu Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the retirees, said a new era has come. She said the quick processing they have enjoyed as recent retirees is sure to boost confidence in the contributory pension scheme.
One of the guests at the event was Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom). Mrs Anohu-Amazu said that she is not surprised that Governor El-Rufai has moved fast to fix pensions in Kaduna State because he is one of the architects of pension reforms in Nigeria.
The Kaduna State Pension Reform Law 2016 created a new Contributory Pension Scheme that came into force on 1st January 2017.