Kano State government has taken-over 21 housing units, constructed at the cost of over N1.8 billion, under a Public Private Partnership arrangement by the Kano State Pension Fund Trustees in partnership with Urban Shelter Limited, at Evergreen Residences, Durumi District, Abuja.
Speaking during the occasion, the Governor Ganduje said the houses were built by the management of the Kano State Pension Fund Trustees “in its determination to boost the investment portfolio of the fund and to contribute to the real estate sector in the country”.
The governor commended the fund for supporting the government’s initiative in the area of provision of shelter with a view to reducing the housing deficit in the state and the country at large. He said Kano State government was aware of the pension fund’s assets worth over N4.1 billion at Sheikh Muhammad Nasiru Kabara and Sheikh Jafar Mahmood Adam cities and would soon work with the state Pension Fund Trustees on how the houses would be fully utilized or disposed off at reasonable prices.
Dr. Ganduje who acknowledged that his administration inherited huge pensioners’ liabilities assured that a monthly sum of N300 million has been earmarked to ensure that the debt is being reduced. “As part of part of effort to ensure that pensioners claims are paid duly, about 1, 270 names of non-existent pensioners were deleted from our payroll after a thorough verification exercise by a team of professionals”, he stated, assuring that his government would continue to pay attention to improving the lot of the Senior citizens.
In his remarks, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Dr. Abel Afolayan, represented by the union’s Vice President, North-West, Alhaji Sani Muhammad Sokoto, said the construction of the housing units showed that in Kano pension funds are judiciously utilized the pension in line with the Pension Reform Act. Also speaking the Executive Secretary, Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, Lady Sharon Ikeazor, who praised Kano state government over its commitment to improve the wellbeing of its retirees assured that her directorate would continue to identify with the efforts of the Ganduje administration in that direction.
On his part, the Executive Chairman, Kano State Pension Fund Trustees, Alhaji Sani Dawaki Gabasawa announced that the present administration inherited pension arrears in the sum of N33 billion while it was able to settle only N5.1 billion in two years. He stated that his organization presently has property worth N8.5 billion, including houses and commercial buildings, announcing that out of the 21 housing units at Evergreen Residences, 11 would be sold to settle some pension arrears.