Few days after Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, approved the release of N843,324,509.46 for the payment of arrears owed local government pensioners covering years 2015 to 2018, the pensioners are already receiving credit alerts for several months arrears and are full of praises for the state governor.
A cross-section of the pensioners, who confirmed receiving alerts for several months, with some as high as 9 months, described the gesture of the Governor Obaseki-led administration as commendable.
Mrs. Rebecca Aimurie, a retired primary school teacher said, “I was shocked to see alert for 9 months arrears, especially as this is coming just 3 days after reading on the news that the governor approved payment of arrears owed to former employees of local governments in the state.”
According to her, “the present administration has proved to us that they truly have our interests at heart. I am impressed with the way the governor has continued to treat issues that affect us. The payment will go a long way for most of us who have been neglected in the past.”
Another pensioner, Mr. Lucky Osobase, said the payment came as a huge relief, adding, “I can’t really describe how I am feeling now. The payment will enable me to settle my debts and take care of other concern relating to my welfare. I thank Governor Obaseki for how he has handled this issue.”
Recall that the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Jimoh Ijegbai, said Governor Obaseki approved the release of N843, 324, 509.46, for payment of pension arrears in addition to another N1.5 billion released during the May Day celebrations in 2018 to defray arrears of pensioners of the unified local government system in Edo State.
According to Ijegbai, “This recent approval of N843, 324, 509.46 is a further demonstration of the commitment of the Obaseki-led administration in Edo State to ensure that all arrears of pension are cleared. Last year, on a monthly basis, we were using N264 million to pay pensioners and at the close of December, we paid pensioners to the tune of N3.168billion. If you add this to the N1.5 billion that we paid in June last year and this recent approval of N843, 324, 509.46 that we are paying today, it will bring the total amount used in paying pensioners for one year to N5, 511,324, 509.46.”