Abakaliki – Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, says his government pays N100 million monthly as pensions and gratuity to retired workers in the state.
The governor made the statement on Wednesday in Abakaliki while swearing-in the reconstituted nine-member Local Government Area Staff Pension Board.
The board, chaired by Mrs Lilian Nwankwo, Chairperson, Local Government Area Service Commission, had the chairmen of two LGA caretaker committee as members.
Umahi said that the government contributed N24 million to LGA staff pension board in addition to the monthly salaries it paid to workers.
“This situation has been tasking on the government and has made us to consider establishing the State’s Staff Pension Board.
“We have directed the State Civil Service Commission to review the issue, consult civil servants and ascertain their willingness to participate in the proposed state’s pension scheme.
“The recommendations of the commission will enable us send the proposed state’s pension board bill to the State House of Assembly for appropriate actions,” he said.
Umahi urged members of the board to judiciously preserve and dispense pension funds to justify the confidence reposed in them to perform their assignment.
“We have not been having problems with LGA pension board in terms of payment to pensioners, though it might have issues in the past.
“I charge you to investigate such issues and prosecute anyone that has embezzled funds meant for pensioners,” he said.
The governor urged members of the board to work in harmony with one another to ensure success and realisation of set goals.
“You should be tolerant, shun squabbles as noticed in some boards because one’s actions cannot be pleasing to everybody,” he said.
Mr Augustine Nwankwagu, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice commended the governor for reconstituting the board.
“The new appointees are stakeholders who are knowledgeable in the LGA system and will be guided by the vision of the governor to enhance the people’s wellbeing,” he said.
Mrs Lilian Nwankwo, Chairperson of the committee, commended the governor for appointing them and promised that she and the other members would work assiduously to reposition the board. (NAN)