President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja said his administration has put a stop to the dehumanization of federal pensioners by ensuring they were promptly paid their entitlements and backlog of arrears.
The President spoke when he received a delegation of Nigeria Union of Pensioners led by the acting president, Comrade Musa Ayuba Dallatu, at State House.
“In recent times pensioners were ignored, neglected and even persecuted. We have put a stop to that. As you yourselves have confirmed today, we have begun regular payment of monthly pensions and payment of backlog of arrears.
“The Federal Government released N45 billion accrued rights for the contributory pension scheme and N22.4 billion to start payment of ex-Nigeria Airways pensioners,” he said.
President Buhari told the pensioners that the Federal Government also bailed out States to address salary and pension arrears including Paris Club refunds, even as he had authorised schemes for the restoration of Niger Delta Steel Company pensioners, NITEL/MTEL pensioners and Biafra Police war veterans pensioners.
The President added the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) had saved N4.9 trillion per annum as a result of payroll clean-up under the Civil Service verification exercise.
He added that under his watch, PTAD completed full payment of N5.8 billion to police retirees in August 2018 while in November 2018, N13.7 billion was paid to parastatal retirees and N18 billion to civil service Pensioners.
“These few examples testify to the Government’s positive impact on pensioners’ lives. In addition, we achieved huge savings in budgetary provisions through the elimination of ghost and duplicated details.
“We have restored qualified pensioners arbitrarily removed from the payroll, thus bringing succour and hope to senior citizens, thereby improving the confidence of the entire county in the Government and its policies,” he said.
Commending President Buhari on the regular payment of pensions, Comrade Dallatu said: “we are bold to say without fear or favour that you have made our lives better than you met it in so many areas, which among others include regular payment of monthly pensions.
“It is an incontestable fact that since the advent of this government under your able leadership, payment of monthly pensions has been more regular than ever. In fact, if the truth must be told, Mr President Sir, we have never had it so good.”