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AGF recovers N14b police pension funds from banks

By on May 24, 2012

The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla has recovered a total of N14.07 billion illegally deposited in various commercial banks by the Task Team on Pensions.

The money is being kept  with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Otunla disclosed this when he appeared before the Joint Senate Committee on Establishment,Public Service, States and Local Government Administration, headed by Senator Aloysius Etok.

The committee at its sitting on March 18, directed the AGF to open a special account where the money recovered by the Pension Reform Task Team would be kept.

He told members of the committee that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) started the  intervention on May 30 and was able to get the pensioners’ money in the commercial banks back to the CBN.

He also disclosed that his office has paid the pensions of 17,000 Police pensioners for  March and April and released the April salaries of the Police pension staff, adding that he has mandated the Police Pension Office to open and operate their overhead accounts to allow them maintain their offices.

He gave the details of the mopped up funds and the commercial banks involved as follows: UBA Plc, N3 billion; Unity Bank Plc, N2.01 billion; GtBank PLC, N1.01 billion; Ecobank Plc, N1 billion, Fidelity Plc, N8.5 billion.

At the end of the exercise,  pension funds in UBA, GTBank and Fidelity banks were withdrawn, while, only N1,050billion was left in Unity Bank account; N1.3 billion in Ecobank and N15.5 billion in Firstbank as at May 14.

However, Firstbank did not transfer the pension funds in its possession to the CBN but instead transferred N1 billion to Ecobank.

According to AGF at the Senate briefing, the police pension accounts in UBA and Fidelity banks were illegal because approval for the accounts were granted two months after opening of the accounts.

In the case of Firstbank, two approved accounts in Lagos were closed by the Task team without the AGF’s approval whereas a new account was opened in Abuja also by the Task Team without the AGF’s approval.