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Pension: Delta State govt set to put smiles on faces of retirees

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*Gov Okowa Endorses Contributory Pension Scheme*

Delta State Governor, Senator Dr, Ifeanyi Okowa [image above] has promised that retired public servants in the state would be paid a percentage of their pension/gratuity within the next few weeks.

That Governor has also disclosed that despite its teething challenges the contributory pensions scheme still remains the best for the country.

Speaking yesterday (10-11-15) when he received the Chairman, Ogbueshi Robert Chukwuyem, and members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners [NUP] Delta State on a courtesy visit in Asaba, Governor Okowa said that the old “pay as you go” scheme was like postponing the evil day stressing that the initial teething problems associated with the contributory pension scheme were daunting but not insurmountable.

“On the Contributory Pension Scheme, the challenges are very huge to the extent that many states in the country have refused to migrate to the scheme because of the complexity but we are aware that if the scheme is implemented by the way it is structured it will be the best for the nation, going forward it comes with its own challenges.” he said.

He added that “The pay as you go scheme” is like postponing the evil day but the contributory scheme despite its teething challenges at the beginning once we can manage it properly it is the best for the nation.”

While decrying the plight of pensioners in the state the Governor called for patience to enable government tackle some of the challenges associated with the pension scheme payment and arrears explaining that government would be transparent in addressing the issue.

He disclosed that the state government will soon pay some percentage of pension and gratuity owed retirees after the committee set up to verify the pension arrears completes its work. 

He stressed, “We agree that pensioners should not be made to suffer, we met a system that has huge arrears of close to 33 billion naira, a committee headed by the Commissioner For Finance is looking into that, we hope that within the next few weeks when the committee completes its work we will be able to pay some percentage of the money owed to the retirees.”

“I appeal for your patience; we will do everything necessary to cushion the pains pensioners are going through.”

Governor Okowa said that the state received a total of 10.9 billion naira bailout fund for the payment of outstanding workers’ salaries and arrears of Local Government but assured that money would be set aside to pay pensioners.

Earlier, the Chairman of NUP, Ogbueshi Chukwuyem, commended Governor Okowa for his people oriented style of governance.

He explained that they were in Government House to discuss with him the plight of pensioners in the state.

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