Olisah Ifeajika, the chief press secretary (CPS) to Ifeanyi Okowa’, the governor of Delta State, on Thursday, disclosed that the current administration in the state spends no less than N1.5 billion monthly in servicing pension obligations.
He made the disclosure while answering questions on a radio programme in Asaba, and said that it was not true that the state government was not paying pensions regularly.
He debunked rumours that the government had abandoned pensioners in the state to their own fate.
According to him, Okowa administration inherited over N60 billion unpaid pension and has been defraying it in addition to paying persons who retired since he assumed office and had pushed up the liabilities.
“Every month, the Okowa-administration releases at least N1.5 billion for the payment of pension liabilities which includes payment for inherited arrears, for those retiring since the administration came in, and to those under the old pension scheme.
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“The protest over pension liabilities is politically-motivated because at every point in time, we have made it clear that we remained committed to the payment of these liabilities.
“The recent protest over pension was sponsored by some people for political reasons and Deltans know that. The government is paying pensions monthly and we will continue to prioritise the payment,” he said.
Delta State Government on Monday released the sum of N5 billion for the payment of pension arrears to retirees in the state.
Earlier this week, Charles Aniagwu, the state commissioner for information, had said that the sum of N2.5 billion was released for the payment of pension arrears for state pensioners while N2.5 billion was also released as grant to Local Government Pensions Bureau for the payment of Local Government and primary school retirees.
Aniagwu said the gesture was part of government’s efforts at ameliorating the plight of the affected senior citizens in the state and commended the governor for his commitment to the welfare and well-being of citizens of the state.