The chairman Adamawa State pension board, Mr. Thomas Madi has disclosed that the Fintiri led state government has availed the sum of N1.5 billion to the board meant for the settlement of gratuities of 660 retirees.
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has in December last year disclosed earmarking N1.5bn to offset the backlog of pension arrears in the state.
But chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Adamawa State branch, Samson Almuru said pensioners did not receive a dime from the said amount accusing the governor of harbouring contempt against the pensioners in the state.
In an interview with newsmen at his office, Thursday, Madi countered the pensioners stating that the state government has earmarked N1.5bn noting that modalities have been concluded to share the funds to the beneficiaries in January 2021.
He said that the state government has lodged the money into the board’s for onward distribution to the affected pensioners.
He noted that out of the amount, N100 million was released to the banks to start payment in January.
“This money is in the account of the Pension Board for payment of gratuity to those that retired in 2012, and one or two others from 2009. We just merge them so that we can pay the total amount.
“The payments are in different categories, we have those that are on Grade Level 01 to Grade Level 17, we also have senior management staff such as the Permanent Secretaries and Judges including those that had died,’’ he said.
According to him, since the creation of Adamawa State, no governor has released such amount of money for the payment of gratuities.
He added that if the previous governments had performed what the present administration is doing now, all the arrears should have been settled by now.
Madi said that the present administration inherited N18 billion pension liabilities due to the failure of past administrations to carry the pensioners along.
He called on the pensioners to exercise patience as government would do the needful for them to get their payment as and when due.