By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State government has said that it will settle outstanding pensions gratuities, and death benefits owed relations of retirees even as the governor has directed the immediate release of N3 billion for the prosecution of the project.
It said N560 million would be paid to relations of dead state retirees, the first time the government would be settling these category of people since 2004.
The government also directed that N480 million of the amount should go to relations of local government retirees, while N780 million would be paid to retirees from the state and local governments.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello gave the directives in Minna Thursday when he received officials of the organised labour in the state led by the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Alhaji Yahaya Idris Ndako.
The governor also directed that N390 million should be paid as retirement benefits minus lump sums collected by retirees who reverted to old pension scheme from Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), adding that N210 million should be the argumentations for the state retirees, while N180 million will be paid to their local government counterparts.
The governor added that the accrued rights amounting to N390 million would also be paid to all the retirees.
He recalled that in 2016, he approved the payment of over N3 billion of different categories of retirees as retirement benefits “because of my resolve not to toy with their welfare”.
Bello noted however that because of “the backlog of unpaid retirement benefits I inherited and the continuous nature of pension administration, it has become expedient for this government to release another N3 billion to offset the backlogs”, adding that “the payment will begin within two weeks”.
The state NLC chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Ndako Idris, in his remarks, appreciated the gesture of the government, saying: “This singular act will bring smiles to the faces of many pensioners and their families.