By John Michael,
The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed his readiness to commence the payment of the outstanding pension arrears his administration inherited from past governments, dating back to the years the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held sway.
Obaseki’s decision is in fulfillment of his earlier promise to settle the outstanding pension arrears of the State Government pensioners in phases.
Conveying the governor’s approval, the Office of the Head of Service in the Edo State Government, in a circular signed by the permanent secretary/chairman Pension Bureau, I.D.S. Juwobor, on Thursday, explained that the payments will begin with pensioners in Batches 37 and 38.
“In order to ensure that only bonafide pensioners are paid, all pensioners in the aforementioned batches 37 and 38 are invited to present themselves for physical and documentary verification at the small hall of Imaguero College, Sapele Road, Benin City on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th December, 2017 at 9:00 am each day,” the letter directed.
The letter advised the affected pensioners to: “Check the list of pensioners in the indicated batches at the Office of the Head of Service on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5thNovember, 2017 and come to the venue of the verification exercise with the following: Pension Authority; Retirement Letter; Letter of First Appointment; Pension Identity Card; Biometric Slip; and Bank details including bank name and Account Number.”
The circular added that “immediately upon the conclusion of the verification exercise, the outstanding pension arrears will be credited into the pension account of each pensioner.”
Recall that the clamour for the pension arrears by Edo pensioners few months into Governor Obaseki’s administration, was hijacked by members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which sponsored several protest marches at the Ring Road in Benin City, despite the state government’s repeated explanation that the arrears would be paid in batches.
The governor therefore called on the good people of Edo State to trust his administration and not pay attention to detractors who want to politicize an issue as sensitive as the entitlements of the state’s senior citizens.