\The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has warned that it would not hesitate to shut down the economy; should there any case of corruption or fraud in the new pension scheme.
The threat is coming on the heels of the recent alarm raised by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) that about N9.6 billion under the new pension scheme was unaccounted for.
National President of the association, Bobboi Kaigama, who gave the warning at the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association held recently in Abeokuta, lamented that government’s inability to prosecute those who looted pensions fund in the old scheme has given impetus for individuals to dip their fingers into the new pension fund.
He stressed that Nigerian workers would no longer tolerate a scenario where “any individual, corporate outfit or even government will dip hands in the contributory pension fund under the guise of borrowing”.
“We will not hesitate to shut down the entire space if this happens. It is indeed worrisome that persons who devoted their productive years to serve the country in the public service will not be paid their gratuities and pension while pension managers are feeding fat on the Fund.
“This is unfortunate. I wish to appeal to the federal and state governments to ensure that pensioners are paid their entitlements on retirement and their money monthly stipends as and when due. Failure to do so will continue to lend credence to the belief that Nigerians are incapable of managing simple processes. Besides, efforts should be made by authorities to sanction those who loot pension fund to act as deterrence to others,” Kaigama said.
Speaking further, he also frowned at what he described as irregular appointments in the civil service stating that recruitment into the service was no longer based on merit. He added that all manner of people are being recruited by politicians and dumped into the civil service at ridiculous grade levels without recourse to qualification and experience.
He noted that in recent years, new entrants are being placed directly above officers with higher qualification and experience, thereby eroding the culture in the civil service.
“In recent times, the cherished culture in the civil service is being eroded as new entrants with HND and B.Sc are being placed directly on Grade levels 09 or 10 instead of Grade level 08 while holders of second degree (MSc) are placed on Grade levels 10 or 12 instead of Grade level 09 as it used to be. This has led to a situation where officers that have served for more than five to 10 years with higher qualifications, experience and skills are being made to report to their juniors, which is very unfair and capable of demoralising such personnel,” he added.
He therefore called on the federal civil service commission and civil service commissions in the states to put a stop to the ill-advised policy and save the civil service from further deterioration stressing that the motive for recruitment should be for service delivery.