Investigation Exposes How Civil Servants Are Defrauding Pensioners in Cross River

Investigation Exposes How Civil Servants Are Defrauding Pensioners in Cross River

- Another corruption saga has been detected in the Nigerian pension scheme

- In Cross River, pensioners are reportedly being subjected to hardship before they can access their money

- These hardships are mostly a result of the greed of government workers

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Pensioners in Nigeria are been preyed upon by civil servants, a new investigation by BBC Africa Eye has revealed.

According to the report, government workers are soliciting extra payments before paying out pensions.

Investigation reveals civil servants are defrauding pensioners
Civil servants are defrauding pensioners in Cross River state. Photo: @ben_ayade
Source: Twitter

The corrupt system leaves some elderly people sick and penniless. The five-month investigation was conducted in Cross River state (southern Nigeria).

The story started with Obaji Akpet whose mother, a nurse, was asked to pay cash directly to an official working in the pension department before they would pay out her pension.

In the investigation, Africa Eye also uncovered a list of over a thousand people in Cross River state whose pensions had been stopped because the state had decided they were no longer alive.

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Others said once they arrived at the pensions office, they were subjected to a treatment they described as “dehumanising”.

In another report, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state said he has no plans to repeal the pension and entitlements of former governors and deputies.

The governor made this known on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, in Asaba, the state capital, adding that he is not thinking in that direction.

Okowa's statement sparked reactions on social media.

Chuks Onuchukwu said:

"You must do the needful, now is the time to address this broad day assault on our common wealth by few opportunists. "Who have done more harm to the state than good. Can someone tell me why the immediate past governor of Delta State should be entitled to these fabulous allowance and pecks of office as a former governor for impoverishing Delta, why can't he and his family lived in Delta state?"

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Meanwhile, had reported that Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop state governors from taking loans from pension funds.

The governors had claimed they wanted to use the money for infrastructural development.

The group on its Twitter page on Sunday, December 6, urged the president to immediately instruct the director-general and Board of the National Pension Commission to stop governors' move.


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