sounds alarm over pensions
BBC news online
have uncovered a huge deficit in the state pension fund, confirming what
many unpaid former state workers have feared for years.
civil servants have long complained of non-payment of their pensions, with
many forced to queue for days to claim what they are owed.
to Nigerian government calculations, the shortfall in the state pension
fund amounts to at least 2 trillion naira (£9.3bn; $14.8bn).
revelation is likely to stir suspicions that some of the money may have
was a major issue in Nigeria's recent election, which saw won by President
Olusegun Obasanjo and his People's Democratic Party (PDP).
have not ruled out that some of the money may have been stolen, but there
has also been criticism of the pay-as-you-go scheme the state uses to
raise pension funds.
think there has been some unfortunate activity," Ahmed Mohammed of
the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund told the BBC's Network Africa.
pay-as-you-go scheme has been abandoned in many countries. Payments have
not been made on time."
regularly travel to Abuja, often camping outside government offices, in
the hope of getting some of their money.
reacted to the news with dismay.
don't have a roof on my head... There is no sign that the government will
be able to pay our pensions," said one pensioner.
government is fighting against corruption. If the government can't pay
this money, then they cannot stop all these things," said another.