By Babjide Komolafe
LAGOS â€” THE new Contributory Pensions Scheme which the National Pensions Commission ordered the Central Bank to start implementing is already causing some anxiety among the staff of the apex bank.
The CBN, like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, was given a two-year grace period before replacing its existing pension scheme with the contributory mode introduced during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The grace period has since expired.
Specifically CBN staff are said to prefer the old scheme being operated by apex bankâ€™s management to the new one.
Vanguardâ€™s investigation revealed that the bank recently introduced the new contributory pension scheme through a memo issued to staff suspending the existing pension scheme arrangement in the bank and replacing it with a new one.
The new arrangement is, however, being rejected by staff who are insisting that the old pension scheme is more beneficial to them than the new one the management wants to introduce.
The bankâ€™s spokesman, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, however told Vanguard yesterday that; â€œYes, the CBN is considering various options on the implementation of a new contributory pension scheme in the organisation.
â€œHowever, no final decision has been taken on which of the options to be adopted. But whatever decision is eventually taken by the management, the interest and welfare of the staff of CBN will be paramount.â€
Vanguard was, however, informed that the CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, at a recent meeting with staff where the position of the staff was officially made known to him, insisted that there was no going back on the new pension arrangement and that any staff not comfortable with the new scheme was free to retire before it took off.
Close CBN sources told Vanguard that what followed after the meeting was a mass application for retirement mostly by top staff who believe it is more beneficial for them to retire under the current pension dispensation.
The management was said to have been overwhelmed by the number of those who have put in their retirement letters and was thus compelled to defer the take off of the new pension arrangement to December instead of the initial October 1 take-off date.
According to a CBN official, â€œThe management was overwhelmed by the number of staff that applied to retire especially given the cost implication of their retirement to the apex bank.
More worrisome to the management was the huge number of Assistant Directors and Deputy Directors who indicated their intention to retire from the bank. This made the management to prevail on the Governor to delay the take-off of the new pension arrangement.
â€¢Detailed report inside Financial Vanguard.