Obanikoro assures military retirees of payment of arrears

ABUJA – The Minister State for Defence, Sen. Musliu  Obanikoro, on Thursday in Abuja  assured retirees that all their pension arrears would soon be paid.

Obanikoro, who gave this assurance when he visited the Pensions Board (MPB), also assured them that the Revised Armed Forces Pensions Bill would soon be passed into law.

The minister assured the retirees who had not received their arrears, especially from the recent increase, that the issue was receiving speedy attention.

Obanikoro said that the Federal Government was giving attention to agitations by retirees for the the arrears.

“I assure you that the issues raised will receive positive attention, it will not just be a promise; the promise will be kept.

“I want to send a strong message to the retirees and the families those who have lost their lives fighting for the nation that this administration is behind them,’’ he said.

The minister said that  “the number of casualties suffered as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency made it compelling that not only are the families paid the benefits but on time and well. [eap_ad_1] “We don’t want a situation where our officers and soldiers will be in the battle front and worrying what will happen to their family.

“Some of the issues raised by the board will definitely receive attention.’’

He said government would ensure that those who served the country and retired with dignity receive their benefits and entitlements.

Obanikoro urged Nigerians to emulate the U.S. where personnel were appreciated for sacrificing their lives for the well being of their country, adding that the war against insurgency should be seen as everybody’s business.

Earlier, Air Commodore Mohammed Dabo, Chairman of the Military Pensions Board, said over 160 Biafran veterans had been paid their pensions.

He said the to the ex-Biafran soldiers was as a result of the Presidential pardon granted them by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000. . Dabo said that the board had made significant achievements despite challenges, including accurate and prompt of about 130,000 military pensioners currently on its payroll.

He said: “No pensioner is being owed any and also of 33 per cent increment of monthly pension to all military pensioners was effective from Aug. 13.

“We have also achieved successful payment of retirement benefits to the medically boarded.

“Another success recorded is the digitization of Archives and introduction of integrated document management,’’ he said.

He stressed that none of the pensioners of the Nigerian military was being owed any entitlement.

The chairman added that the board had also paid the contentious 33 per cent pension increment to all retirees with effective from Aug. 13.

Dabo urged the minister to resolve the lingering issue of the non-payment of 20 per cent pension increment and the arrears of 53 per cent increment for military pensioners in 2010, yet to be effected. (NAN)


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