A cross section of the Federal and State civil servants in Yobe, have called on the Federal Government to make the contributory pension scheme more workable in order to curb corruption.
A survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Damaturu, revealed that both the Federal and State Governments’ civil servants were not comfortable with the present contributory pension scheme.
A staff of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Musa Mohammed, said the contributory pension scheme was working against the interest and welfare of retirees.
“The general arrangements and the accessibility of retirees to their savings have been made cumbersome, thereby making the system to work against the interest of the retirees,’’ he said.
Aliyu Mustapha, a retiree, said the new pension scheme had created more fears of uncertainty of life after service than it ought to address and it could encourage corruption in the service.
“The experience of every pensioner has not been palatable; the scheme does not guarantee a good life to civil servants after retirement.”
“This gives rise to workers engaging in corruption to acquire property and investments by whatever means including fraudulent practices for life after service,’’ he said.
A female federal worker, who preferred anonymity, urged the Federal Government to look into the pension scheme to make life easier for retirees.
“It is very unfortunate that people in the army, police and civil service spend their useful lives serving the nation only to live a dejected life of beggars after service.”
“The review in military pension scheme, which showed appreciable improvement, should be extended to the civil service to improve the lives of the retirees’’.
She said the poor pension scheme could encourage people to steal while in the service.
“This is because of the fear of the delay or non-payment of their entitlements after retirement,” she said.
Similarly, civil servants in the Yobe Government service, expressed fears in the delay of payment of entitlements by the State Government.
Bukar Ali, a civil servant, said the Yobe Government had before now been trying to pay pension and gratuity of retirees but the situation had changed, perhaps due to the recession.
“I implore Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe to give special attention to the payment of entitlements of retirees in order to improve on their welfare,’’ Ali said.
Hassan Isa, another civil servant, said some civil servants in the federal and state services might not want to engage in fraudulent and corrupt practices but they did so for fear of the unknown.
The respondents said that the war against corruption could only be successful with a workable pension scheme that would guarantee the future of retirees.