Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina
By Dele Ogbodo
The Chairman, Presidential Task Team on Pension Reform (PTTPR), Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, denied defying the invitation from the Senator Aloysius Etok-led Committee on establishment and Public Services. He explained that he was awaiting the request made to the Senate leadership on new members on the Ad Hoc Committee investigating him, for the sake of fair hearing.
The Chairman who spoke to journalists in Abuja over the weekend, however disclosed that the team was on the verge of recovering a fresh N3 trillion pension fund stuck somewhere which he refused to disclose, allegedly for security reasons.
While explaining that there was a mix up in the invitation requesting him to appear before the Senate Ad Hoc Committee, he said that even though he made some attempts to honour the invitation, some people according to him, were deliberately planted to prevent him from entering the National Assembly that day.
He said: “I said somebody must have planted people to stop me from entering that place because how can pregnant women come and stay in front of my car like that. I said there must have been an arrangement by somebody to prevent me from entering because I wanted to see them, what have I got to hide?
“Is it a crime to fight crime and fight for this country? Is it a crime to save government over N251 billion? “Is it a crime to remove over 73,000 ghost pensioners from the payroll? Is it a crime to bring on board 52,000 pensioners that have never been paid their pensions all their lives?”
According to him, “like I told you, we are pursuing something on N3trillion pension funds. We don’t want anything to jeopardise our investigation, our office has gone far, we are talking about stolen cash of N3 trillion, because I want people to understand the difference, because if you are here and you are doing good for humanity, we are fighting for those that have not retired and those who have retired.”
He added: “How many journalists have retired and they are living in penury, are they getting any of such security, are they getting anything from government? The answer is No.
“What we are trying to do is to ensure that we have a repository of these job vacancies, we are trying to make sure that when these young graduates come out of the university his or her biometric is captured and name deposited in the job bank, and any job that is available is given to him or her where the job exist in Nigeria and after 6 months if that does not happen, he starts receiving N15, 000 monthly allowance until he gets that job. “We have a blueprint and what we are trying to do is for the common good of Nigeria. “And this unemployment will reduce and go down drastically.
Maina argued that meeting with the legislature on fairground would have been an opportunity for the legislature and the executive to partner because “even the Senate President, David Mark, and the Committee members I know, are passionate about this. What happened, I think, the Senate Committee was misinformed as there was nothing like missing N195 billion.”