The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the National Pensions Commission to ensure prompt payment of pensions in order to mitigate the sufferings of pensioners in the country.
Moving the motion, Ossy expressed concern that citizens who spent most of their active years working for the country were deprived of their entitlements.
He said, “it was disheartening that 12 years after the Pensions Reform Act of 2004 was enacted, state governments and the organised private sector have failed to fully activate the contributory pension scheme.
“Most retirees who are old and frail are made to stand in long queues for hours in a bid to collect their pensions, which sometimes lead to the collapse or untimely death of some persons in the process.
“The mode of accessing pension in Nigeria is too rigorous for these old and frail citizens and there is urgent need to device a less cumbersome procedure to access pensions by senior citizens.’’
Ossy called for probe into allegation that most states in the country did not release funds for payment of pensioners as and at when due.
“This has resulted to some of them being owed up to nine months pension arrears as a result of sharp practices on the part of state government officials, who use the monies for pensions for their personal aggrandizement,’’ he added.
Ruling on the matter, the Speaker of the house, Mr Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committee on Pensions to investigate the immediate and remote causes of delay in payment of pensions in the country.
The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the house.