NSITF pays N2b to 751,590 under old scheme
THE Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has paid N2.3 billion to 751,590 claimants under the defunct NSITF/National Provident Fund scheme.
A statement issued in Abuja by Head, Corporate Affairs of the NSITF, Aliu Zubairu, said that apart from the fact that the NSITF remains the only government parastatal that remained self-sustaining from inception till the enactment of the Pension Reform Act, 2004, it also ensured it religiously paid all the claimants.
He added: “As at May 2007 when NSITF ceased to pay benefits under the defunct NPF/NSITF Schemes, a total sum of N2, 287, 967, 000. 00 had been paid out to 751, 590 claimants. Out of this number, there were 6, 762 pensioners who still collect their monthly pensions till date.
“Furthermore, 4,322, 985 employees were altogether registered under the NPF/NSITF Schemes and the sum of N42, 987, 751, 316. 66 collected as contributions under the two separate schemes. It is on record that the total assets transferred to Trustfund Pensions Plc., (the Pension Fund Administrator – PFA – set up by NSITF in line with the provisions of the PRA, 2004 to manage pension assets of NSITF) stood at about N60 Billion; over N18 Billion above the total contributions collected and barring the benefits paid out as well as the overhead costs within the period. These facts can be verified from PenCom, the pension regulatory body that supervised the transfer of assets and liabilities under the NPF/NSITF regimes to the PFA set up for that purpose, in line with the provisions of PRA, 2004 (as amended in 2014). It is on record that PenCom has made various announcements on Television and Newspaper publications in the past regarding the foregoing facts, specifying the modalities of accessing the contributions by bonafide members of, or contributors to the defunct NPF/NSITF Schemes,” he explained.
Zubairu insisted that indeed the defunct NSITF scheme ranked among the internationally recognized social protection programmes that met the purpose for which it was established, until it gave way to the Pension Reform Agenda of the Federal Government in 2004.
He stated that it wrong for any insinuation that the employees that contributed under the (NSITF) scheme did not receive the supposed benefits, as the funds were largely inaccessible.
The statement added: “The foregoing has become necessary in order to put the records in proper perspective for the sake of unsuspecting Nigerians who might be misled by such an erroneous publication to liken NSITF as a government agency to the so-called failed government agencies like the Railways, NITEL, Nigeria Airways, etc., which accumulated huge liabilities; or take the design and implementation of the NPF/NSITF Schemes as failed attempts by government to meet the workers’ high need for social protection.”
NSITF stressed that the NPF/NSITF Scheme was implemented between June 1961 – 1994 (for NPF Scheme) and July 1994 – December 2004 for NSITF Scheme.