By Peter Duru
A faction of pensioners in Benue state on the aegis of Aggrieved Benue Pensioners, Wednesday staged a peaceful protest in Makurdi, the state capital demanding the payment of backlog of pension arrears accumulated by successive governments in the state.
The pensioners some of who bore placards with inscriptions like “Governor Ortom the defender of Benue please defend your pensioners, “we have faith in you to pay us”, among others were led by their Chairman, Mr Akosu Ugba.
Mr. Ugba told journalists that they had to embark on the march to draw the attention of the state government to their plight.
He said the record of the accumulated pension owed by successive governments in the state showed that the state pensioners were being owed 34 months while their local government counterparts were owed 74 months.
“We appeal to the present government to take steps to bring down the backlog because we have needs and responsibilities that require money,” he said.
Meanwhile the State Chairman of Benue Pensions Commission, Mr. Terna Ahua had explained that Ortom’s administration had already domesticated the PENCOM law to tackle the problem of pensioners in the state, adding that government had already invested N1.3 billion into the scheme.
Mr. Ahua was recently reacting to agitations by pensioner said “in the case of the arrears of pension and gratuity, we have also taken a step back by introducing PENCOM law. We have already been able to invest up to N1.3 billion.
“So this administration has found a permanent way of resolving this matter of pension and gratuity and in paying salaries; because once we have enough money paid into the pension account, we can always find a way of borrowing and paying back”, Mr. Ahua said.
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