Alia inherited over N163.7b pensions, gratuity arrears - Benue AG - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, October 30, 2023

Alia inherited over N163.7b pensions, gratuity arrears - Benue AG

The  Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Fidelis Mnyim has disclosed that the present administration inherited over N163.7billion backlog of pensions and gratuity from successive governments. 

He assured that the government was aware of the enormity of the task of meeting its commitment to pensioners and appeal to those who dragged the government to court over unpaid pensions to withdraw such cases and give the government the benefit of tackling the challenge. 

The Commissioner who made the appeal during a stakeholders meeting held with pensioners in Makurdi to find a solution to some of the challenges pointed out that since the coming of the present administration, the government had consistently paid retirees and pensioners their gratuity and pensions without fail. 

He however lamented that some pensioners had resorted to seeking court orders to garnish the bank accounts of the state government which would frustrate government's efforts to ensure that pensioners got their due a the end of every month. 

He said: "This meeting is at the instance of the Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia to see how the government  can alleviate the plight of pensioners in the state. 

"Since the governor assumed office, our senior citizens have been receiving their allowances every month, those who retired since the coming of this government have all been paid their gratuities. 

"All the calls to withdraw cases from  court does not amount to threat but an appeal to all of us so as to allow the governor to concentrate on regular payment of pension allowances and gratuities. 

"As at the time the governor assumed office, the state pensioners were being owed 42 months arrears while local government pensioners were owed 96 months arrears all amounted toN163.7billion." 

The Chairman of the Benue State Pensions Board, Mr. Terna Ahua pointed out that since the government had prioritized pension and gratuity payment it was only proper for any pensioner in court to withdraw the suit given the commitment shown by the present administration to the wellbeing of pensioners. 

The Chairman of Forum of Retired Permanent Secretaries, Mr. Hyacinth Ikyaagba who commended the government for the meeting said it would avail pensioners the opportunity to speak on any issue concerning their welfare. 

Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr. Dennis Akura assured that the government had put all measures in place to ensure that local government pensioners got paid on the 25 of every month. 

Commending the government for consistently paying pensioners at the end of very month, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Mr. Michael Vember appealed to the government to consider extending palliatives to pensioners. 

He said, "Since the removal of petrol subsidy life has been difficult for pensioners so we urge the government to extend palliatives to us in form of financial support,"

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