The state government is planning to increase the rate of taxes paid by the downtrodden in order to make up the short fall of all its revenue/income from the fall of oil price.
Kaduna State Pension Reform Law was passed on Tuesday by Kaduna House of Assembly. The bill has generated lot of controversy, particularly among the civil servants in the state, due to the fact that the civil servants will no more enjoy gratuity on retirement because the new pension scheme has no provision for payment of full gratuity to retirees.
The scheme has been programmed to pay retirees bit by bit which the civil servants consider as far inadequate for them to build or own their own personal houses after retirement.
On its part, the Kaduna state government complains that it can no longer shoulder the responsibility of paying gratuity and pension to its retirees as a result of downward trend in the price of crude oil in the market. It is for this reason that it mounted pressure on the state assembly to hastily pass into law the new pension reform which is at the detriment of the civil servants of the state.
However, on the other hand, the state government is planning to increase the rate of taxes paid by the downtrodden in order to make up the short fall of all its revenue/income from the fall of oil price. The government asserted that it may hardly continue to pay salaries of its workers, if the prices of oil continue to fall. A source within the Sir Kashim House said that government is now thinking to choose between paying salary and executing projects if the problems persist.
The civil servant had complained bitterly that the PFAs (Pension Fund Administrators) companies assigned by National Pension Commission to manage the retirement savings accounts were imposed on them since during the administration of Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi in 2008 without giving them the liberty to choose their own pension fund administrators.
The pension fund administrators are Premium, Sigma, and Leadway etc. Premium is managing the retirement savings of state ministries and parastatals while sigma is in charge of local governments.
A reliable source said the state government owes premium pension over N2 billion which the state government has not so far remitted to the retirement savings account of workers in the state.
Non-remittance of such huge amount reported to be borrowed by Yero administration as government contribution to the contributory pension scheme might not be unconnected with the introduction and operation of the treasury single account (TSA).
By Bello Ahmadu Alkammawa
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