Laleye Dipo in Minna
About N6billion contributed by over 6000 retirees in the public service of Niger state has not been disbursed to the pensioners as the money is still with the various Pension Fund Administrators, Speaker of the Niger State House of assembly, Ahmed Marafa has disclosed.
Marafa, who made the disclosure when he received officials of the Association of New Pensioners in his office on Monday, also defended why the state governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has not assented to the pension law amendment bill passed by the legislators six months ago.
The speaker said ” there are noticeable problems in the bill which if not removed will cause more problems for the retirees”.
Among the noticeable problems according to the Speaker was the amount payable to old and new pensioners.
Marafa said he had negotiation with the governor on the way out and it was resolved that the assembly should organise a stakeholders meeting to address the discrepancies in the bill.
“We are going to harmonise all the pension matters in this state after the stakeholders meeting”, he said.
He submitted that apart from the N6billion with the PFAs, the government released N2.1billion for the payment of pensioners in the old pension scheme.
Earlier, the chairman of the Association Alhaji Usman K Yahaya had pleaded with the Speaker to assist numerous Pensioners under the new pension scheme to get their entitlement.
Yahaya said many of his members have died of hunger and starvation as a result of lack of money, while others had become beggars and debtors while trying to survive with their families.
He therefore advised the Speaker to direct the pension board to “work out the backlog of our pension arrears and resume payment of monthly pension to our member.”