Pension administration: stakeholders advocate stiff anti-corruption measures

Participants at a town hall meeting in Enugu have called for an amplified fight against mismanagement of pension funds.

The meeting was organised by Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC) an NGO with the support of MacArthur Foundation, with the theme: “Accountability issues in the payment of local government pensioners in Enugu State.”

They were drawn from the Media, Civil Society Organizations, People with Disabilities (PWD’s), Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, pensioners association and labour leaders.

Also in attendance were the Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Mr Aka Eze Aka and representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.

In a communique issued after the engagement, the participants called for active participation of stakeholders towards ensuring prompt payment of pensioners’ entitlements and arrears.”

The communique was signed by Zubair Abdurrauf Idris, Executive Director/Project Manager, WAMAC.

They noted the greatest challenges of pension administration which leads to transactional corruption at all levels due to lack of openness and accountability tracking processes.

According to the communique: “The Town Hall Meeting identified challenges encountered by pensioners in other parastatals and urged the local government Chairmen to immediately start remittance to Local government pension board for prompt payment of pensioners and arrears.

“Participants advocate for continued enforcement of anti-corruption agencies, EFCC and ICPC mandates on preventive measures and enforcement to fight the menace.

“The meeting commends the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for their efforts and advocacy in the fight against corruption and urged governments to pay entitlements of pensioners as at when due.

“Participants frown at social crimes and electronic crimes, such as cyber-crimes, trafficking of persons and other new faces of social corruption that are retrogressive to development. Also, participants call for social inclusion for PWDs and implementation of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI)

“Participants commend the Enugu State governments for setting up a committee of pension administration stakeholders and labour leaders to review the Pension Scheme in Enugu State with a view to adopt the Contributory Pension Scheme.

“The Town Hall meeting commends DREAM FM Radio, Enugu, and other media organisations; Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC) and McArthur Foundation for their efforts in the fight against corruption.”