Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, Friday, met with the protesting pensioners in the state and promised to release the sum of N611 million to complete the payment of their April and May 2018 pensions.
The governor, who met the aggrieved pensioner sat the entrance of the Government House in Makurdi, where they had been sleeping in the last three days, said the delay in the payment of their pensions was not
The pensioners had, Wednesday, stormed the Government House, Makurdi to protest the non-payment of their pension allowances and gratuities which spanned 25 months.
Ortom explained to the senior citizens that his administration inherited unpaid pension allowances of over N34 billion, with outstanding gratuities of over N17 billion.
He said although his administration was able to make significant efforts in the payment of the arrears of pension and gratuities, government was still owing over N20 billion.
The governor said his administration would have to seek for an overdraft of N611 million to be able to complete the shortfalls from the April and May 2018, assuring that the money would be paid latest by September 10.
He stated further that his administration had also moved a step further by signing into law the PENCOM Bill and constituting the state pension commission as one of the ways of finding lasting solutions to the issue
of pension and gratuities.
The governor said government would continue to source for funds to meet its obligations to the citizens, especially the senior ones.
Ortom apologized to the senior citizens over the inability of the government to pay them their entitlement as and when due.
Responding, Chairman of Concerned Pensioners Mr Peter lkyado expressed appreciation to the governor for taking time to meet them and urged him to quickly meet their demands as promised.
He said the pensioners were not happy over the non-payment of their pension allowances and gratuities which had accumulated to 25 months.