Friday 30 November 2012

Police pensions: Reps move to arrest Okonjo-Iweala

House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to issue a warrant of arrest on Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for failure to respond to several summons issued on her.
The House had repeatedly invited her to give explanations on the take-over of police pensions and non-payment of pensions to former rank and files of the Nigerian Police Force, but the minister has repeatedly failed to show up.
Chairman, House Committee on Pensions, Ibrahim Bawa Kamba, made known the decision of the committee to issue the warrant on the minister after waiting for several hours for her on Thursday, only for her to fail to show up as usual and without any apologies.
Kamba said it was obvious that the minister was not ready to appear and explain reason why the minister took over Police Pensions Office without regard to Pensions Reform Act and oversight responsibility of the committee.
His words: “We have been inviting the Minister of Finance over the problems of police pensions.
“She has been holding the Police Pensions and several police pensioners have died due to non attendance, despite the fact that National Assembly appropriated money in the 2012 fiscal year.
“The committee wondered why the minister took over the schedule of the Police Pensions and this has generated controversy and the committee has received several petitions in this respect, which the committee would have loved to resolve with the minister.
“Following her refusal, the committee is going to issue warrant of arrest against the minister if she fails to attend the next meeting. We are going to give her the last opportunity. What she is doing is bad.
“She has no right to neglect the call of the committee, we are not happy about this development.
“Many former IG have not been paid. Sunday Ehindero and Sunday Adewusi and DIG Akeredolu have not been listed due to the take over by the minister.
“We want to make it clear to Nigerians of our action, we hate playing with peoples life.
“We have received some petitions from the police that many police pensioners are not paid.
“We were bombarded  with series of complaints. Severally we have been writing to hear from the minister but she refused to heed our calls.

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