THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said it had probed and also prosecuted pension frauds involving N157bn from 2016 to 2020.
The agency said urgent reform was needed to deliver an efficient, effective and sustainable pension administration system in the country.
Speaking during a two-day sensitisation programme on the theme, ‘Eradication of pension fraud in Nigeria’, in Abuja on Tuesday, the Director of Operations, EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, vowed that the commission would bring those who embezzled pension funds to justice.
Presenting a paper titled, ‘Case study: Analysis of fraud in pension administration in Nigeria, the EFCC experience’, Chukkol highlighted the gaps in the existing pension arrangements frequently exploited by criminal elements in public and private sectors.
He noted that the country had lost several billions of naira in the process.
Chukkol said, “In the last 10 years or so, Nigeria has been awash with pension news. Although, it is a global problem, but Nigeria has taken the centre stage in the last 10 years.
“In 2016, because of the growing number of petitions that we are having, EFCC now created a unit called the Pension Investigation Team. From 2010 to 2016, we received over 21 petitions all over involving N111bn. These are as alleged.
“In 2017, we received 44 cases of N16bn; in 2018, N12bn; in 2019, N2.15bn. By then, because of the efforts of the EFCC, it began to reduce. In total, from that 2016 to 2020, the EFCC investigated cases allegedly to the tune of N157 bn.”
In his address, the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said, “At the EFCC, we found that a significant chunk of the cases we encountered while investigating workplace crime is inexorably linked to the desperate efforts of the worker to escape the pitiable conditions he sees of today’s retirees.”