Pensioners in Cross River State have lamented poor handling of their pension payment by officials of the State Ministry of Local Govt Affairs.
The pensioners who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that the ministry’s permanent secretary, the accountant, Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) and the ICT staff have hijacked the functions of the local government pension board, SUBEB and PHC in the state.
According to them, these officers have deliberately refused to remit local government allocations from the federation account to the various local councils accounts. A development that contravenes the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Units(NFIU) Advisory note on handling a local council funds as well as directive by the Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. E.Esu, on the matter.
The pensioners stated further that these officials in flagrant disregard of financial regulations and other extant rules that governs expenditure above certain threshold, have been paying salaries and pensions of local government, SUBEB and PHC directly from the ministry. This, they said has led to omission of names from the payroll as well as irregular payments since May, 2019.
The NFIU Advisory note stipulates that : “it is necessary that all local government councils, for convenience of their finances do remove all salaries and remit all teachers salaries to SUBEB once the funds have reached their accounts before carrying out other expenditure’.
The advisory note warns no transaction shall be permitted on a Local Govt staff, (Pensioners) Primary School Teachers, Traditional Rulers and other staff are removed.
Equally , the state Deputy Governor had in a letter, LGSC/3/150/1/5 dated 19th September, 2019 to the permanent secretary, Ministry of Local Govt Affairs directed that ” salaries and pensions should be remitted to Universal Basic Education, Primary Health Care Development Agency and Local Govt Pensions Board with effect from September, 2019.
The letter signed by Samson S.Ogar, Permanent Secretary, further states: “the remittances should be in accordance with Nigeria Financial Intelligence units’ guidelines. The Ministry is hereby advicedb to seek clarification from the salary paying banks to effect this directive.
The pensioners who do not understand why the ministry should flout the orders of the Deputy Governor, are seeking the intervention of the State Government in order to ameliorate their sufferings.
Categories: HUMAN INTEREST