Pensioners on the payroll by the Benue state government, as well as those in local government roles, have recently received payments under Governor Hyacinth Alia’s administration. State pensioners received payments for four months, spanning from May to August 2023, while local government pensioners were disbursed payments for three months, covering June to August 2023.
Michael Vember, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), conveyed this information during a conversation. He pointed out that the government’s payment approach has resulted in the accumulation of arrears. Local government pensioners have accumulated 77 months of arrears from successive governments, while state pensioners have 43 months of arrears.
Vember clarified that the current administration has decided to start fresh and address the pension issue comprehensively, with a commitment to clearing all accumulated arrears once sufficient funds become available.
He expressed deep concern about the plight of pensioners, particularly in light of the country’s economic challenges following the removal of petrol subsidies by President Bola Tinubu’s administration. Some retirees receive as little as N4,000 per month as pension, making their situation exceptionally difficult.
Initially, Governor Hyacinth Alia focused on paying state pensioners, excluding local government pensioners. However, after being made aware of the issue, he began disbursing payments to local government retirees as well. Currently, the governor has paid state pensioners for four months and local government pensioners for three months, implementing a consistent approach.
Governor Alia has also committed to addressing the accumulated arrears but has not yet specified a timeline for doing so. He has ordered the calculation of arrears and their retention until sufficient funds are available for payment.
Regarding how Benue pensioners are coping with the country’s economic challenges, Vember described the situation as disheartening. The removal of petrol subsidies has left retirees in an extremely precarious position. While the minimum wage for civil servants is N30,000, pensioners in Benue state receive as little as N4,000 as their minimum pension.
This significant wage disparity exacerbates the difficulties faced by retirees in navigating the country’s economic realities. Vember emphasized that pensioners, who have devoted their lives to serving their country, deserve better treatment and support in their retirement.”
The provided information is intended for general awareness and may not be entirely accurate or up-to-date. The post disclaims any warranties regarding the completeness, accuracy, or reliability of the content, services, or graphics on the website. It advises caution when using the information for any purpose.