Edo State Government on Wednesday said it has paid N6.2 billion to retirees in the state between January and September 2017.
The government, in a statement signed by the Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor, said it was not only committed to clearing the backlog of pension arrears but also instituting a new regime where retiree’s entitlements were not delayed.
“Governor Obaseki, who is extremely vast in pension matters having served as a member of the Presidential Taskforce which established the new pension order currently in operation in Nigeria, has always been very empathetic to the plight of pensioners, hence he made a commitment during the presentation of the 2017 budget to resolve the problems of pensioners in Edo State in a sustainable manner.
“Since January this year, despite dwindling revenues, government has paid the sum of ₦6,202,346,624.31 to pensioners of both the state and local governments,” she said.
Idahor added that the government could no longer watch with disappointment the continued attempts to undermine institutional arrangements that had been put in place to deal with all pension-related arrears, as well as maturing obligations, hence the need to make clarifications.
Details of the structured payment since January show that the state government between January and September paid out N6, 202, 346,624,31 to retirees.
The breakdown is: N4, 056, 035, 496, 82 for state pension emoluments while the local government workers got N2, 146, 311 127.82.
The statement however warned that it would no longer fold its arms while mischief makers instigate pensioners into embarking on needless and stage-managed protests, in order to put the state government in bad light and undermine efforts at resolving the pension issue.
It explained that the protest on Monday, October 16, was an orchestration by some disgruntled elements and their political allies designed to undermine the effort of the state government to sustainably resolve the pension issue once and for all.
“The state government would henceforth prevent miscreants who under the guise of agitating for pension payment, disrupt law and order in the society, particularly when there is sufficient evidence showing that they are being sponsored by some anti-development agents and mischievous members of the opposition who have refused to accept the verdict of the people,” she warned.
Idahor further added that despite resistance, Mr Obaseki saw through the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme which has now ensured that future generations of workers never again suffer the plight which pensioners are currently facing.