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FCT Minister Probes Alleged Diversion of Teachers’ Pensions

Indications emerging from Abuja, the federal capital territory, are that teachers’ contributory pensions deducted over the years may have been diverted to meet other needs, it has been gathered.

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This much was gathered on Tuesday when the Standing Committee of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) , FCT Chapter, paid the FCT Minister, Mallam Mohammed Bello, a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Bello has promised to resolve the issues of the non-remittance of pensions deductions made from the salaries of FCT Primary School Teachers by the FCT Area Councils.

The FCT Minister stated that his Administration might be compelled to make deductions at source from the allocations of Area Councils, if it is proven that they actually spent this money on other items.

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This details were made known in a press statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by the Chief Press Secretary to Minister of FCT, Mr. Cosmas Uzodinma who also stated that Bello who was responding to requests by the teachers to look into their welfare, including several months of unremitted pensions deductions made from their salaries.

“I believe our Area Council Service Commission and office of the Auditor General, Area Councils is looking at some of these things. We will look at it and make sure that if the deductions have been made at the point of payment of salary, then we want to know where the money is. If by any chance the Area Councils used the money for their own expenses, we will set up a team then we identify and whatever is due to be remitted, we will make sure that it is removed at source so that it is remitted and the accounts will be balanced.” He explained.

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The Minister further stated that the policy of the FCT Administration is that all pension deductions made from workers salaries must be invested into their pension account without delay. Saying, “We have made a lot of progress trying to make sure that for each deduction made, immediately the deductions are remitted to the PFA account because the whole idea of the PFA account is for money to be invested in each person’s account. So, if you just keep the money and you don’t post it, it’s unfair to the staff. But I will check and see what the issues are.”

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