Benue spends N700m on pensioners monthly – Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state weekend stated that the state expends N700 million monthly on payment of pensions.

He also said his administration inherited over N70 billion arrears of pensions and gratuities of retirees.

Speaking in an interview with journalists in Makurdi, he said relentless efforts had reduced the backlog of pensions to less than N35b.
He stated further that over N1.5 billion had been saved in the PENCOM account by the Benue state government, adding that when the amount reaches N3 billion threshold, funds would be accessed from PENCOM to clear arrears of pensions and gratuities.

He stated that the domestication of the PENCOM law by his administration was the best approach to ensure a lasting solution to payment of pensions and gratuities in the state.
Governor Ortom said N400 million and N300 million is paid monthly to the state and local government pensioners respectively.
He added that though the release of the funds affect payment of overheads and other logistics in some ministries, departments and agencies of government, it has to be sustained in order to address the plight of the senior citizens who served the state meritoriously.

He stated that the release of N700 million monthly is a result of an agreement between government and pension union leaders in the state, adding that the cause of the recent protests by pensioners despite the subsisting agreement is unfortunate and would be investigated.