Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State, Mr John Ngbede, has appealed to pensioners in the state to be patient with the Governor Samuel Ortom led administration over their outstanding pension and gratuities.
Ngbede, who made the appeal at a press conference held on Saturday in Makurdi said that the state government was making frantic efforts to clear the arrears of their pension and gratuities.
He said that part of government’s commitment to addressing the issue of pension and gratuities in the state was the constitution of Pensions Commission by the governor, which comprises of men and women of proven pedigree, who are, themselves, retirees from the civil service.
”The commission, which was inaugurated by Gov. Ortom recently, is vested with the mandate of tackling holistically issues of pensions to retirees, both in the arrears and on due basis.
”It is, therefore, a thing of concern that the senior citizens could stage such protests shortly after the inauguration of that commission. The commission is theirs, and they ordinarily should have accorded some respect to it by allowing it to commence work without any hitch.”
”By so doing, our respected retirees would have been seen as giving the commission, and by extension, the Gov. Ortom-led administration, benefit of the doubt. The state government had also paid over N18 billion as pensions and gratuities to the retirees from 2015 till date.”
”The arrears of N11 billion owed the senior citizens by the previous administration has also contributed to the problem on ground, and this was reiterated by the governor while addressing the protesting retirees on Friday,”