The Kaduna State Government has announced that it has uncovered a pension racket that costs the state N1.3 billion annually. This was one of the highlights of the report on the verification of pensioners in the state that has been presented to the state executive council. The report confirmed that 2,484 ghost pensioners were identified and removed from the pension payroll. Another set of 1,404 were classified as probable ghost pensioners because while they managed to get verified, they curiously failed to pick their pension cheques.
A statement from Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to the Governor, Malam Nasie El-Rufai, said that the state executive council has ordered investigations to identify the person(s) that have collecting the pensions of the ghost pensioners.
Aruwan’s statement said:
“In July 2015, the total pension payroll from the state and local governments stood at 18,265. It cost the state government N543,771,967.43 monthly to pay the pensioners.
“But at the end of the biometric verification exercise, only 15,781 pensioners were verified on the payroll. As many as 2,484 supposed pensioners did not show up at all. Of 15,781 pensioners that were verified, 1,404 pensioners did not collect their cheques, and they are being treated as probable ghosts.
“The Kaduna State Executive Council has ordered further investigations into the precise identities of the syndicate behind the pension scam. The council welcomed the fact that the verification of the pension payroll will now enable the state to save N1.3 billion every year.”