By Favour Nnabugwu
Federal government has released N2.4 billion to 594 retired public officers, Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan stated.
Dr. Yemi-Esan who made this known in Abuja at a town hall meeting on “Effective Pension Administration in the Public Service,” also pledged the readiness of government to improve on the welfare of retirees and serving officers of the federal public service.
According to her, “following the release of N2.5billion to pay backlog of death benefits to the next of kin of deceased officers, the Office has paid over N2.4 billion to over 594 beneficiaries. The balance will be paid to other beneficiaries once the Office receives the requisite banks’ attestation.
“Furthermore, the federal government through the Office of the Head of Service has provided Group Life Assurance Cover for federal government employees in 48 MDAs for the year 2021/2022 through the Federal Executive Council approval of a total sum of N9.2 billion as premium to be handled by 15 underwriters.”
She noted that in a collective bid to support retirees in resolving challenges of prompt payment of pensions, “the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation established a standing committee on Pension Matters comprising the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, National Pension Commission, PENCOM and the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD.”
Despite the laudable milestone, the Head of Service expressed displeasure over complaints emanating from both serving and retired officers on the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme as well as management of the Defined Benefit Scheme.
Also speaking, Dr. Chioma, Ejikeme, Executive Secretary, PTAD, noted that pensioners under the scheme have been paid their entitlements, adding that the pension payroll is always on the 15th of every months to ensure hitch-free payment to beneficiaries at the end of the months.
Representative of the Director General of PENCOM, Dr. Farouk Aminu however got more than he expected as some pensioners on the commission’s platform expressed displeasure in the manner the scheme is being run.
The event was attended by top government functionaries including Dr. Evelyn Ngige, Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and Olusola Idowu, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance among others.