The last may not have been heard concerning Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), as elder citizens under the auspices of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Federal Civil Service chapter, has revealed that the Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) had started reinstating some pensioners he (Maina) delisted from the payroll system between 2010 and 2013.
The NUP leadership, while condemning the crisis rocking the civil service system, particularly the reinstatement of Maina and subsequent promotion – despite having absconded from Nigeria for alleged corrupt practices – also alleged that Maina deliberately mutilated records of some genuine pensioners and removed their names from the payroll system.
Sunday Omezi, National Chairman of NUP, Federal Civil Service chapter, insisted that Maina carried out these actions in a bid to justify his claim of discovering ghost pensioners and sanitisation of the pension system.
The revelation came on Tuesday at a media conference at the headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abuja.
Omezi said: “Ordinarily, we would not have considered it necessary to address this press conference, but for the exigency of setting the records straight.
“We feel compelled to react to some salient issues which have been thrown up by recent developments, one of which is the saga of the reinstatement of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team into the service with promotion after his abscondment and dismissal from the service, and subsequent placement on wanted list by the EFCC, consequent on corruption charges.
“It is indeed imperative to recall here one of the several malpractices that characterised the activities of the erstwhile chairman while he held sway in office between 2010 and 2013 which involved the deliberate mutilation of records of some genuine pensioners and removal of same from the payroll, all in an attempt to justify his claim of discovery of ghost pensioners and sanitisation of the system thereof.
“The allegation we have made here can be verified at PTAD, as it is currently reinstating victims of the unwholesome practice of the discredited Pension Reform Task Team.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on October 23, 2017, ordered the dismissal of Maina from the civil service after he learnt of his reinstatement through questionable circumstances.
The president had also ordered a comprehensive investigation to unravel how Maina got reinstated into the service and posted to the Ministry of Interior.
Since the development unfolded, there have been several controversies relating to the matter, with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, initially denying knowledge of how Maina got re-instated in the first place.
The pensioners also cautioned the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, to steer clear of their union’s activities, alleging that some mischievous persons were attempting to register a parallel pensioners’ union through the back door.
“We want to state categorically that the Federal Civil Service Pensioners, which is affiliated to Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), is duly constituted with an existing inaugurated national body charged with the full responsibility of administering its affairs.
“Let it also be clearly stated that the national body of the Federal Civil Service Pensioners has not mandated any person or group of persons to apply for registration on its behalf.
“We, therefore, appeal to the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment to disregard any such application as it is the handiwork of mischief makers and not a true representation of the collective interest of our entire membership nationwide.
“In view of the foregoing, it becomes pertinent to unequivocally mention that the union runs a single central administration under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) as enshrined in the Trade Unions Act, to which the entire members of our union belong,” the NUP leadership stressed.