Borno Head of Service (HoS), Simon Malgwi, on Saturday said that the state government had uncovered some fraudulent activities of some pensioners in the state.
Malgwi who made the disclosure at a press conference in Maiduguri, said the ongoing public hearing on pension had revealed some of the pensioners’ shady deals.
According to him, the state has been able to save N400 million as well as attend to complaints from 387 pensioners from the revelations.
“The public hearing has also uncovered far more serious cases of fraud and other unsavoury activities on the part of the pensioners,” he said.
The head of service said the fraudulent activities had profoundly affected the verification process and considerably hindered the processing of their forms to be captured in the exercise.
“Most of these fraudulent cases border on deliberate overstay in the service beyond the mandatory years of service or retirement age which they perpetrated by altering either their dates of birth or dates of first appointment.
“There were also cases of those who were collecting both salaries and pensions at the same time and, which is a gross misconduct and a betrayal.
“In the course of the hearing, cases of impersonation, improper replacement and over-payment of pension have also been discovered.
“There are also cases of next of kins of deceased pensioners not reporting the death to government thereby continuing to collect the pensions until the ATM expires,” he said.
The head of service said that the acts had posed a serious challenge to the smooth and proper operation of the verification and biometric data capture of pensioners in the state.
Malgwi reiterated Gov. Babagana Zulum’s commitment to addressing the challenges associated with pension payment.
He said that the state government had evolved a system that would enhance migration from salary to pension.
The head of service said the system would enable fresh retirees to receive their pensions the month after retirement.
Malgwi advised all civil servants who were due for retirement to ensure that they began processing their retirement information on time.
He commended the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the pensioners’ union for their support and cooperation in addressing the challenges.
The HoS also announced that the state government had paid workers and pensioners for the month of May to enable them to celebrate Sallah happily.
Responding, the NLC Chairman, Mr Bulama Abiso, and the Chairman of TUC, Mr Babayo Mohammed thanked Gov.Zulum for his initiative of easy migration from salary to pension. .
They said that in the past, retired workers were made to wait for up to six months before being paid their pensions.