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El Rufai We inherited N14.3bn pension liability in Kaduna

The governor expressed the hope that in seven to eight years time, the pension scheme in the state would be fully funded to take care of retirees benefits.

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Governor Nasir El-rufai play

Governor Nasir El-rufai

(Daily Post)

Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, on Wednesday revealed that his administration inherited a pension liability of N14.3 billion when he assumed office in May.

El-Rufai made the disclosure at the maiden edition of the African Pension Award organised by the World Pension Summit Africa in Abuja.

"When we got sworn in May this year, we inherited pensions and gratuity deficit of 14.3 billion unfunded; we are still grappling on how to resolve that," he said.

The governor also said that his administration also inherited a partly funded defined pension contribution scheme of N4 billion.

El-Rufa'i said the government, under the guidance of the National Pension Commission, had redrafted a new pension reform law for the state as part of efforts to strengthen pension admistration.

He said that the state executive council had already approved the draft law which would be forwarded to the state assembly for approval.

"Actually the state executive council approved it just yesterday (Oct. 6); that will strengthen the pension regime in Kaduna state to be consistent with the provision of Pension Reform Act of 2014," he said.

The governor expressed the hope that in seven to eight years time, the pension scheme in the state would be fully funded to take care of retirees benefits.

On investment, the governor advocated a significant reduction in interest rate on lending by financial institutions in the country.

He disclosed that the state government was investing in infrastructure to create an enabling environment for investment, and was also subsidising farmers to attract investment in the agriculture sector.

The Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said that his state had been operating the defined benefit scheme over the years.

Emmanuel said his administration had successfully cleared pension and gratuity arrears of local government retirees.

"When we took over government, we did not have so much in terms of pension arrears at the state level; there are some also in the local levels.

"We moved to clear at least 10 years arrears for the local government gratuities and the few pension arrears outstanding in the local government.

"And the whole idea was to ensure that when we go on the lines of awareness, we should be able to carry the people along. So you cannot carry them along when you are owing them." he said.

He announced that the government was in the process of drafting a new pension law in line with the 2014 pension reform act.

Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi told the participants that the administration inherited a pension liability of N5.7 billion in the defined old scheme and currently has about N2 billion in its contributory pension scheme.

The governor said that the state was also on the verge of passing a new law to strengthen pension administration.

Bagudu said that the state administration was putting in place measures to mobilize investment to the state especially in the area of agriculture.

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