Governor (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State

How Delta pays pensioners up-to-date in old pension scheme ─Governor

*Governor (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State says his administration is up-to-date with payment of pensioners in the old pension scheme, despite the huge backlog running into billions of Naira in the old pension scheme which has forced several state governments to withdraw and others not to enrol in the scheme

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In relating how the financial burden inherent in the old pension scheme has compelled several states of the Nigerian Federation to abandon it over the years, Governor (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has disclosed that his administration inherited over N100 billion unpaid pensions under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

The governor stated this Sunday, April 25 at the third session of the 8th Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Ughelli Diocese held at Bishop Agori-Iwe Memorial Church, Ughelli, agency report said.

Okowa said that the financial burden forced 18 state governments out of 26 that enlisted on the scheme to withdraw, leaving only eight state governments, including Delta, in the Programme.

He noted that the major challenge which induced the states to withdraw and others not to enrol in the pension scheme was the huge backlog running into billions of Naira.

However, Okowa said that his administration in Delta State was up-to-date with payment of pensioners in the old scheme.

The governor stated: “We have two types of pensions, the old pension scheme and the contributory pension scheme.

“Those on the old pension scheme are paid regularly as we pay salaries, but there is a big challenge with those on the contributory pension scheme.

“It is a good scheme, but it will take a very long time to solve the issues associated with it.”

He said: “For instance, if somebody had done 15 years before joining the contributory pension scheme, it provides that the government must contribute for those years and it runs into billions of Naira.

“Out of 36 states in the country, only 26 states embraced the scheme, but as at today, only eight states are contributing to the scheme.”

Okowa also recalled the time he assumed office in 2015, saying, “what Delta was owing was over N100 billion.

“I have paid a few billions, but it is a far cry from the over N100 billion we are owing.

“It is something we are committed to and I will continue to do the best that we can and by the time we are able to pay the accruals it will no longer be a burden to subsequent governments.”

ConsumerConnect reports that most of the old pension schemes were not fully funded. According to Nigeria’s National Pension Commission (PENCOM), prior to reform, upon retirement there were no ready funds to pay the pensioners in most of the previous pension schemes.

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