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NAMA diverted N1.5bn pension funds, retirees allege

…Agency denies fraud accusation

Retirees from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have alleged that the management of the agency diverted about N1.5 billion pension funds meant for pensioners dating back to 2003.

At a delegate conference held by the Airspace Management Pensioners Association of Nigeria (AMPAN), an affiliate of the Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPAN) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at the weekend, the association’s chairman, Kester Omotayo alleged that the pensioners were being shortchanged monthly by the management of NAMA. He told the media  that the short payment of the pensioners started with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) returnee pensioners to NAMA in 2005, stressing that the pension increase effective from 2003 was unimplemented by the agency’s management.

“The pension indebtedness has accumulated to over N1 billion. We have submitted a fool-proof tabulated analysis to NAMA management for well over a year, but, as usual, there was no positive action taken.

“It is not unlikely that NAMA operates on two pension structures, may be to deliberately cover or attempt to cover some sharp practices in the pension division of the Human Resources Department. This we suspect when in 2017, we requested them for the structure with which our pensions were being paid. We were not only denied, but were told that it was a classified document. This has been reported to NAMA Pension Board of Trustees for well-over two years. The same board accountant has also failed to render statement of account to the present board since its inception,” Omotayo alleged.

Daily Sun reached out to NAMA to respond to the allegations and the agency denied the accusations, saying it is up-to-date in its obligation to pensioners as they have received their November remunerations as at November 26, 2020.

“The agency received a correspondence from the pensioners whereby they alleged irregularities in the payment of their entitlements owing to disparity with those of other agencies in the sector. Consequently, the agency set up a committee (with membership comprising pensioners themselves) to investigate and come up with findings.

“NAMA does not and will not for any reason, operate two pension accounts. It is impossible given the existing Treasury Single Account (TSA) platform in operation.

“ NAMA is up-to-date in its obligation to pensioners as they have received their November remunerations as at 26th of November, 2020,” the agency said.

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