Pensioners under the employment of the Benue State government and local authorities have received partial payments for the months of May to August 2023 and June to August 2023, respectively, during Governor Hyacinth Alia’s administration. However, this payment has only made a dent in the significant arrears that have accumulated over the years.
Michael Vember, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), disclosed this, highlighting the dire financial situation faced by retirees, aggravated by the recent removal of petrol subsidies by the national government. Local government pensioners had an outstanding arrear of 77 months, while state pensioners had 43 months of arrears from previous administrations.
Governor Hyacinth Alia’s administration acknowledged the longstanding arrears but initiated payments from a later date, leaving substantial arrears unaddressed. Vember noted that pensioners are grappling with meager monthly pensions, some as low as N4,000, in a challenging economic environment.
The pensioners expressed their dismay and emphasized the pressing need for the government to address their plight urgently. Despite promises to clear the backlog of arrears, concrete plans and timelines for the same are yet to be provided.
The removal of petrol subsidies has adversely impacted pensioners, exacerbating their financial struggle. The Benue State pensioners are urging the government to take immediate and substantial measures to improve their financial situation, considering their invaluable service to the nation.