Buhari releases N54 billion to pay pension arrears from 2013 to 2017

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[Abuja]–The Federal Government has showed that it is concerned about the plight of pensioners who retired under the Contributory Pension Scheme without being paid, as it has released N54 billion to clear part of the backlog of accrued pension rights for the years 2014, 2015, 2016, as well as January to March, 2017.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, as she said that inherited arrears of accrued pension benefit for the year 2014, 2015 and 2016 which accumulates to N41.5 billion, as well as outstanding for January, February and March 2017 based on 2016 appropriation, which is estimated at N12.5 billion, has been released by the National Pension Commission, PENCOM, for onward payment to the retirees.

“Despite conflicting demands for available cash, President Muhammadu Buhari has always expressed concern about the plight of workers and pensioners. Consistent with this, we have released N41.5 billion which clears the arrears inherited from the previous administration relating to the period 2013-15 and underpayments in 2016. This will bring relief to thousands of our elders who have served and deserve to be paid their entitlements promptly and fully,” Kemi Adeosun emphasised.

She explained further that “the amount we paid includes arrears and the impact is that those who retired as far back as 2013, who had been unable to access pension under the contributory scheme due to nonpayment, will now be paid.”

To avoid future accumulation of pension arrears, Mrs. Adeosun assured that henceforth “the monthly allocation to the PENCOM based on the appropriation of 2017 will regularly be paid along with monthly salaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).”

It should be remembered that several retirees have protested the non-payment of their allowances by the Federal government.

The most recent is a case of retired workers who served the Federal Government in Ogun State, and had taken to the streets to protest 14 months unpaid pension and gratuities, in March 2017.

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