The National Judicial Council (NJC) has offset “99 per cent” of the N2.9 billion pension arrears it owed judicial workers across the country since 2007.
NJC Executive Secretary Ahmed Gambo Saleh said it had also curbed the menace of ghost pensioners in the scheme by ensuring that pensioners sign an indemnity bond.
Saleh spoke at the Ikeja High Court in Lagos on Saturday during a verification exercise for NJC workers in the state.
He said: “The NJC took over the administration of pension for retired judicial officers, otherwise known as the defined benefit scheme in the year 2007.
“The exercise is being handled by the office of the Head of Service of the federation.
“By coming into force with the Pension and Administration Judicial Officers Act 2007, the NJC was saddled with the responsibility of administering same.
“In 2013, the National Pension Commission also collapsed the administration of accrued benefits of retired federal judiciary staff to the NJC.
“These two developments forced a number of challenges to the council, in the sense that apart from taking over the administration of the pension, the council also inherited a huge sum of money in terms of arrears for the entire judicial officers and federal judiciary staff in the tune of N2.6 billion.”
Saleh added: “It is, however, gratifying today for me to say that the council has so far settled 99 percent of its arrears. Not only that, the council is also up-to-date in terms of monthly pension to all judiciary pensioners; having paid the pension for the month of October, a few days ago.
“It is also pertinent to mention that, as of today, our retired federal judiciary officers and staff received their gratuities not a minute later in the day of their retirements.”
A former Lagos State Chief Judge Justice Inumidun Akande hailed the scheme.
“It was very nice and professionally done. We haven’t been having any problems. I have been coming here since I retired in 2012. They’ve been paying our pension; in fact, they pay quicker than even Lagos State. I score the exercise an A,” Justice Akande said.
Also, a former Lagos State Assistant Chief Registrar, who retired in 2003, Adisa Ayodele Sule, said: “I retired in 2003 and they don’t owe me.”