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We have settled 99% of pension arrears a NJC.

THE Secretary General of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Ahmed Gambo Saleh, has disclosed that the commission has settled its backlog of pension arrears running into N2.9 billion.

Saleh who said this at a verification exercise in Lagos over the weekend, also pointed out that though the NJC inherited N2.9 billion debt when it took over in 2007, so far it has been able to settle 99 per cent of it.

'The NJC took over the administration of pension for retired judiciary officers otherwise known as the defined benefit scheme in the year 2007.

'The exercise is being handled by the office of the Head of Service of the federation.

'By coming into force with the Pension and Administration Judicial Officers Act 2007, the NJC was saddled with the responsibility of administrating same.

'In 2013, the Election Pension Commission also conspired the administration of accrued benefits of retired federal judiciary staff to the NJC.

'These two developments forced a number of challenges to the council. In the sense that, apart from taking over the administration of the pension, the Council also inherited a huge sum of money in terms of arrears for the entire judicial officers and federal judiciary staff in the tune of N2.6 billion.

'It is, however, gratifying today for me to say that the Council has so far settled 99% of its arrears. Not only that, but the Council is also up-to-date in terms of monthly pension to all judiciary pensioners; having paid the pension for the month of October, just some few days ago,' Saleh said.

'It is also pertinent to mention that, as of today, our retired federal judiciary officers and staff received their gratuities, not a minute later in the day of their retirements,' Saleh added.

He also pointed out that the NJC has also been able to curb the menace of ghost pensioners in the scheme by ensuribg that pensioners sign an indemnity bond.

Also speaking at the verification exercise, a Former Lagos Chief Judge, Justice Inumidun Akande Rtd, commended the scheme.

'It was very nice and professionally done. We haven't been having any problems. I have been coming here since I retired in 2012. They've been paying our pension, in fact, they pay quicker than even Lagos State. I score the exercise an A.'

Also, a former Lagos State Assistant Chief Registrar Adisa Ayodele Sule: (Retired in 2003) said: 'I retired in 2003 and they don't owe me.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Nov 4, 2018
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