Benue Pensioners on the payroll of the state government and those of the local governments have received four and three months payments respectively since the beginning of Governor Hyacinth Alia’s administration.
It was reported that the payments covered the months of May to August 2023 for state pensioners while local government pensioners received payments from June to August 2023.
Michael Vember, Benue State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, made this known in a chat.
However, he noted that the government’s mode of payment had left about 77 months of arrears accumulated by successive governments for local government pensioners and 43 months for state pensioners.
He stressed that the administration decided to draw a line and started on a clean slate to pay all pensions in the state, promising to clear all the backlog when funds are made available.
Vember noted that pensioners are the worst hit by the economic downturn in the country following the removal of petrol subsidy by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, stressing that their situation is pathetic considering the fact that some of the retirees receive as low as N4,000 monthly as pension.
He said: “Initially, when Governor Hyacinth Alia took over he focused on the payment of state pensioners, excluding local government pensioners. But when we drew his attention to it, he started paying local government retirees as well.
“So far he has paid up to August 2023. But the fact is that he has decided to create arrears in between because, like local government pensioners, their payment stopped in May 2018. So he jumped and started paying from June 2023. Thereby leaving behind a backlog of arrears from May 2018 to May 2023.