Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri on Wednesday confronted officials of the state pension board with allegations of corruption in the management of pension funds during a surprise visit to the agency in Yola.
The governor had walked straight into the office of the executive chairman of the board, Thomas Madi, during the unscheduled visit.
Mr Fintiri said he was disturbed by allegations that the N1.5 billion he released for settlement of the backlog of pension was not being properly disbursed.
“I have received a negative report on what is happening. Of course, people must complain but, definitely, some complaints most times are genuine and need to be cleared by the board and officials in charge,” the governor reportedly told the officials.
“I am here to know the procedures and process because some of the reports reaching me are of ‘recycling people’. Another is that the staff here are in the habit of hiding peoples’ files so that they must be bribed before the files are out. Thirdly, people are not paid until they part with a certain amount of money.
“And I want to know why you are still paying 2010 and 2011, when before this management, the information from the report that was submitted to me was even in 2012, there were just a few staff that did not receive their entitlements. So what has now taken us back to 2010-2011? I expected that we would have now moved to 2014.”
But the executive chairman said the officials were diligent in discharging their duties.
‘’Your Excellency, your questions are apt sir. But let me begin with the process of payment, which I earlier told you that we adopted as a board. We designed a form issued to pensioners. There is also bank scrutiny,” Mr Madi said.
After listening to the explanation by the board chairman, the governor urged the management ”to be coordinated in the disbursement of the fund”.
“The management of this board that I appointed were carefully selected and are men and women of integrity. I am sure that they will always do right things, but whenever allegations come up, it is my responsibility to investigate,’’ the governor said.
“We will do more and this visit will ginger (encourage) us,’’ Mr Madi again responded.
Mr Fintiri then warned politicians in the state to “avoid playing politics with every good effort government is making”.
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