Benue State Government has announced that pensioners in the state will begin to receive their entitlements within two weeks from now.
This announcement came on the heels of a protest by pensioners who came under the platform ”concerned Pensioners” demanding immediate payment of their entitlements by government.
The Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu who made the disclosure yesterday described the protest as “most unfortunate and ridiculous” explaining that the state Governor, Samuel Ortom has been particularly sensitive and responsive to the plight of pensioners in the state and has been paying them as and when due till very lately.
He disclosed that those that protested were people that retired from service before the advent of the present administration but were not placed on the pension payroll but whom the Ortom government have now placed on the payroll and have commenced the process of paying them their pension.
He wondered why it was after the government had completed their documentation process and were on the verge of commencing their payment that they chose to embark on the protest.
He stated that the government had met with them previously and that at the last meeting, after informing them of the steps taken so far by the government, they were requested to nominate two of their members to join the committee processing their payment; a request they failed to take up.
He said it is ludicrous that they still decided to stage a protest after they were notified of the payment which he said would come their way in the next two week.
“Why is it that it is at this point in time, if there’s nothing behind it that they decided to demonstrate; at a time they have seen the light at end of the tunnel? I just can’t understand”, he said.
According to him, the government has already set aside the sum of N200m every month to take care of this payment with another N200m also set aside for payment to local government pensioners. This, he said is different from the monthly obligation which the state government has been faithfully discharging to the pensioners.