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Edo spends N25b on pensions, settles arrears with N4.3b

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Edo State Government has spent over N4.3 billion to settle outstanding pension arrears owed about 3,128 pensioners and N25 billion for payment of monthly pension for 13,081 retirees between November 2016 and May 2020.

Mid-Year Report of the Edo State Pension Bureau showed that as at June 30, 2020, “The government spent N771.7 million between November and December 2016 for payment of pensions, just as it spent N5.3b, N6.4b, and N7.9b in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“The government also spent N735m, N736.7m, N760m, N759.7m, N760.6m, N759.6m, N763.3m and N423 in January, February, March, April, May and June this year.”

The Guardian learnt that having been setting aside N200m monthly, the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration was able to defray arrears of pensions from 1996 to December 2018 in furtherance of its commitment to pensioners’ welfare.

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“The government divided the pensioners into batches 37 to 65 and ensured that the backlog was cleared after physical verification of retirees and having completed the payment of outstanding pension arrears, the government will harmonise the pensions and pay death benefits and gratuity,” the report stated.

It further revealed that besides clearing the arrears, an efficient management process has been put in place to facilitate the processing and documentation of retiring officers’ entitlements to ensure smooth migration from salary to pension payroll.

This, it noted, minimised accumulation of pension arrears that had been a burden before the inception of this administration.

The report added that workers, who are eligible to register under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) would benefit from a Group Life Insurance cover that provides for beneficiaries of contributors in the event of death during service.

“The government paid N80.7m as premium for 9,803 employees in the CPS and with this, the next of kin of deceased employees will receive triple their gross annual salary as benefits.

“From the commencement of the CPS on January 1, 2017, N81.169m has been paid to families of 34 deceased employees of the state public service who were enrollees of the CPS.

“The state government exercised political will and has been committed to the payment of pension arrears, monthly pensions, death benefits under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and government’s 10 per cent contribution to the employees’ Retirement Savings Account (RSA) in compliance with provisions of the Edo State Contributory Pension Scheme Law 2010 as amended,” the report added.

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