Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has approved the sum of N1.2 billion for the payment of pension’s arrears in the state.
Besides, he has directed that the payment of the arrears be commenced this December, 2012.
Dr Uduaghan, who disclosed this yesterday in Asaba when the executive of the State Union of Pensioners paid him a courtesy call, said the amount approved would cover the 6% and 15% increases in the pensioners’ emoluments.
He attributed the delay in the payment of arrears to the discrepancies in the actual numbers of pensioners and assured them that everything would be done to make them comfortable.
In particular, he explained that the arrears were not paid before now because the government had to conduct a screening exercise to ascertain the actual figure of pensioners, adding that it was already working out modalities for the payment.
“We will pay you the arrears; we are working out the modalities for the payment. The N1.2 billion have been approved since August 2011, we will begin the payment this month,” he said.
He also charged the Pensioners to help government sort out the fake names that were responsible for the bloated and bogus figures.
“We have conducted screening exercises in the state. In the first exercise about 5,000 pensioners were captured while in the second exercise, we got about 9,700 pensioners but only 7,000 were physically sighted”, he stated.
According to him, the total number of pensioners in the state was yet to be ascertained and that the capturing exercise was a continuous process.
Dr Uduaghan assured pensioners that his administration would regularly pay their monthly pension without any delay.
He continued “We suspect that something is wrong with the accounting system of the payment and have called on the Accountant-General and Head of Service to investigate the issue”.
In a brief remark, the chairman of the Union, Comrade Mathias Ubiebi said they visited the Governor to appeal for the payment of the 6% and 15% increases by the state government.
“We came to see you to appeal that our arrears be paid. We are aware that the increase has been approved but don’t know what is delaying the payment”, he stated.
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