The Kogi State Government has uncovered a multi-billion naira pension fraud perpetrated under the administrations of former Governors Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada. According to an audit report made available to newsmen, the fraud stood at over N4.3 billion between 2010 and 2015.
The report shows that the syndicate was diverting pension and gratuity funds to private accounts, using names of unintended beneficiaries to the detriment of pensioners in the state. On assumption of office, Governor Yahaya Bello had ordered a comprehensive audit of pension funds in the state as a result of unpaid pensions.
The revelations of the audit have been mindboggling, revealing the humongous fraud in the pension administration under the two administrations in the state. The governor has vowed to prosecute those who were found guilty in the pension fraud.
Speaking with reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, at the weekend, the Director General of Media and Publicity to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said Bello is ‘sad’ over the incident.
“His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has expressed disappointment over the unfortunate diversion of pension funds during the last two administrations in the state. He has found it very hard to understand how people put in authority could punish the senior citizens of our dear state by diverting monies meant for their pensions and gratuities into private pockets.