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Maina Leaks 2015 Letter to Saraki, Says N3tn Pension Stolen in 97 Agencies

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Abdurasheed Maina
  • Maina Leaks 2015 Letter to Saraki, Says N3tn Pension Stolen in 97 Agencies

Embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has leaked his letter to Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, alleging that over N3 trillion pension fund was stolen in 97 pension offices.

Maina, in the letter dated June 19, 2015, which he wrote shortly after his return to the country, was seeking a review of his case and a probe of the various actions taken against him by people bent on intimidating him to submission.

He accused the 7th Senate of aiding and abetting those he described as pension thieves in the country.

The letter was titled: Pension Reform Task Team: Appeal for Review of Investigation by Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Government Administration 2011 – 2013.

He said in the letter, which was obtained in Kaduna yesterday that the task team, which took off effectively in January 2011, saved the country N1.6 trillion from pension thieves.

“We used financial intelligence skills to achieve ground-breaking achievements in our assignment. We recovered and saved cash and properties worth over N1.6 trillion,” he added.

Maina noted that the team’s efforts led to the arrest of 46 persons and firms involved in looting of pension funds, which were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), whose trial was still ongoing.

The over N3 trillion said to be hidden in the 97 government agencies, waiting to be retrieved was as at 2015. The letter also indicated that the pension boss resurfaced in the country shortly after the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2015.

“We, members of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) wish to use this medium to apologise for our late response to reaching back to you. We had to put the issues together and source for appurtenant materials. We appreciate your understanding,” the letter reads in part.

As a refresher, the PRTT was inaugurated on June 10, 2010 by the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, with a clear mandate to restructure the Head of Service Pension Office, Police Pension Office, among others.

“We did our utmost with precision and national interests as our guiding principles. The PRTT took off effectively by January 2011. We used financial intelligence skills to achieve our assignment.

“We recovered and saved cash and properties worth over N1.6 trillion. Our efforts led to the arrest and prosecution of 46 persons/firms involved in looting of pension funds, which we handed to the EFCC. The trials are still ongoing.

“As it is, there is a leakage of N256 billion monthly from the current IPPIS which needs to be blocked urgently. We are also aware of some government’s hidden accounts, which needed to be mopped up. We can be used to engage any department of government in sanitising the financial workflow to avoid loose ends that remain susceptible to leakages,” the letter stated.

It also said that based on the revelations of monumental fraud and outright stealing of pension funds, which was brought to public attention by the PRTT, the 7th National Assembly by a resolution of November 2, 2011 mandated its Committee on Establishment and Public Service, State and Local Government Administration, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the management and administration of Pension funds in Nigeria.

“There was general expectation that the various dimensions of irregularities associated with the management of Pension funds in Nigeria would come to an end as a consequence of the investigations being conducted by the Senate Joint Committee,” it added.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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NIMC Announces Launch of Three National ID Cards to Boost Identity Management

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The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has unveiled plans to launch three new national identity cards.

These cards are aimed at providing improved access to government services and bolstering identification systems across Nigeria.

The three new national identity cards, as disclosed by Ayodele Babalola, the Technical Adviser, Media, and Communications to the Director-General of NIMC, will include a bank-enabled National ID card, a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card.

Babalola explained that these cards are tailored to meet the diverse needs of Nigerian citizens while fostering greater participation in nation-building initiatives.

In an interview, Babalola outlined the timeline for the rollout of these cards, indicating that Nigerians can expect to start receiving them within one or two months of the launch, pending approval from the Presidency.

The bank-enabled National ID card, designed to cater to the middle and upper segments of the population, will offer seamless access to banking services within the specified timeframe.

Also, the National Safety Net Card will serve as a crucial tool for authentication and secure platform provision for government services such as palliatives, with a focus on the 25 million vulnerable Nigerians supported by current government intervention programs.

This initiative aims to streamline the distribution process and ensure efficient delivery of social services to those in need.

Furthermore, the ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card will provide an optional identity verification solution, facilitating cross-border interactions and promoting regional integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The announcement comes on the heels of NIMC’s collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to develop a multipurpose national identity card equipped with payment capabilities for various social and financial services.

This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of key stakeholders to foster innovation, cost-effectiveness, and competitiveness in service delivery.

Babalola stated that the new identity cards aim to address the need for physical identification, empower citizens, and promote financial inclusion for marginalized populations. With a target of providing these cards to approximately 104 million eligible applicants on the national identification number database by the end of December 2023, NIMC is poised to revolutionize the identity management landscape in Nigeria.

The implementation of these programs aligns with broader efforts to drive digital transformation and improve access to essential services for all Nigerians.

Babalola highlighted the multifaceted benefits of the new identity cards, including their potential to uplift millions out of poverty by facilitating access to government social programs and financial services.

While the launch date is set tentatively for May pending presidential approval, NIMC remains committed to finalizing the necessary details to ensure a smooth rollout of the new identity cards.

The introduction of these cards represents a significant step forward in NIMC’s mission to provide secure and reliable identity solutions that empower individuals and contribute to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

Efforts to reach Kayode Adegoke, the Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, for further insights on the initiative were unsuccessful at the time of reporting.

As Nigeria gears up for the launch of these innovative identity cards, stakeholders express optimism about the potential positive impact on identity management, financial inclusion, and socio-economic development across the country.

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Nigeria Launches New National ID Card to Enhance Access to Social and Financial Services

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National-eID-card

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the launch of a National Identity Card with integrated payment and social service functionalities.

This initiative, spearheaded by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), aims to provide Nigerians with a single, multifunctional card that combines identification, payment, and access to various government and private sector services.

The new National ID card backed by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007 is poised to become the country’s default identity card, serving as a tangible proof of identity for citizens and legal residents alike.

With features aligned with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, including a Machine-readable Zone (MRZ) and biometric authentication capabilities, the card offers robust security and verification mechanisms.

One of the most significant aspects of the new ID card is its payment functionality. Cardholders will have the ability to link their cards to bank accounts, enabling them to conduct debit and prepaid transactions seamlessly.

This feature is expected to enhance financial inclusion efforts, particularly for the unbanked and underbanked populations in Nigeria.

Also, the card will grant holders access to a wide range of government interventions programs, including travel, health insurance, microloans, agriculture initiatives, food subsidies, transport benefits, and energy subsidies.

By consolidating these services onto a single platform, the government aims to streamline administrative processes and improve service delivery efficiency.

To ensure widespread accessibility, the NIMC has outlined various channels for obtaining the new ID card, including online applications, commercial banks, participating agencies, and NIMC offices nationwide.

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New York City Hit by 4.8 Magnitude Earthquake

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christian dior

New York City, famously known as the “city that never sleeps” was hit by a 4.8 magnitude earthquake.

The tremors reverberated through the towering skyscrapers and bustling suburbs as it sent shockwaves across the densely populated metropolitan area and left residents feeling shaken.

The earthquake, with its epicenter approximately 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia, caught many off guard.

Reports indicate that over 42 million people across the Northeast region may have felt the midmorning quake with reports coming in from as far as Baltimore to Boston and beyond.

The impact of the earthquake was not confined to mere tremors; it resulted in significant damage to several multifamily homes in Newark, New Jersey, displacing nearly 30 residents.

Officials immediately sprang into action, conducting checks on bridges and other major infrastructure to assess any potential structural damage.

Flights were diverted or delayed, Amtrak slowed trains throughout the busy Northeast Corridor, and a Philadelphia-area commuter rail line suspended service as a precautionary measure.

The experience was unsettling for many New Yorkers, with some likening it to the sensation of an explosion or construction accident.

Shawn Clark, an attorney working on the 26th floor of a midtown Manhattan office, described it as “pretty weird and scary,” echoing the sentiments of many who felt the earth move beneath them.

Aftershocks were reported hours later in a central New Jersey township, causing additional concern and producing reports of damage and items falling off shelves, according to Hunterdon County Public Safety Director Brayden Fahey.

The disruption caused by the earthquake extended beyond immediate safety concerns. Cellphone circuits were overloaded as people tried to reach loved ones, and phones blared with earthquake-related notifications during the New York Philharmonic’s morning performance, adding an unexpected twist to the day’s events.

Even as the seismic event rattled New York City, residents and officials alike drew comparisons to past earthquakes, particularly the memorable tremor of August 23, 2011. Registering a magnitude of 5.8, it was the strongest quake to hit the East Coast since World War II, leaving lasting impressions on those who experienced it.

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