IN 1993, Jigawa’s Government undertook an assessment of the old, non-contributory defined benefits scheme and discovered it to be inefficient, ineffective, and a burden to government finances.
Although the old pension scheme was entirely financed by the State, money made available was most often insufficient to service the pension obligations of the state.
It was characterised by non-payment of pensions and gratuities to pensioners, as well as increasing cases of ghost pensioners, leading to unpaid heavy pension bills, and untold hardship for pensioners and among others. To solve the problem, the then government adopted the contributory pension scheme, CPS and ever since, the state has freed itself from the problems that today, Jigawa State is in the forefront in the implementing CPS in the country.
The civil servants were made to key into it in 2001, with contributions by both employees and the State. It had a gestation period of five years before employees could draw its benefits. The scheme was the first of its kind in Nigeria, with employees contributing 8% of their basic salary while the state contributes 17% of the employee’s basic salary.
The CPS has had a significant impact on the state pensioners as they now receive their pensions at as when due.
Implementing the contributory pension reform in the state has help to reduce corruption and fraud in the system.
State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Alhaji Mohammed Ayuba, told Pension and You, in an interview that state and local government pensioners in the state were enjoying good relationship with the government .
He said this was because the government ensured that pensioners got their pension and gratuities as at when due, stressing that “pensioners are usually paid before workers. We have no problem concerning pension in Jigawa state under this administration, and I am sure with the success so far recorded in the state contributory pension scheme,subsequent government will not abolish it because it is easy for both the employers and their employees.”