Hon Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House
of Representatives, on Thursday, urged the
executive branch to ensure that all backlog
of pension payments are promptly made,
adding that no excuse will be accepted for
failure to do so. Dogara made this
statement after the minister of Finance,
Kemi Adeosun and Minister of Budget and
Planning, Sen Udoma Udo Udoma, briefed
the House on efforts they had made so far
to offset arrears owed to Nigerian
pensioners.
The Speaker said he was confident of the
promise made by President Muhammadu
Buhari that non-payment of pensions to
retired Federal civil servants will be
promptly taken care of. He said payment of
the 33 percent arrears, should be made
preferably within a month.
He said:
“We will not accept any excuse that
leaves part of this pension funds
hanging. When the President made a
commitment that he was going to
release money for bailout to States
so that they can pay backlog of
salaries and pensions, it happened,
even though we were in the midst of
a very biting recession. Now the
President has said this issue of
pension must be solved.
“I don’t know where you got the
money to bail out the states from,
wherever you got the money from,
that is where we are going to get the
money to solve this problem. And for
the ministers who are representatives
of the president, I believe you won’t
make him (Buhari) break his words
because his words are cherished. I
want to believe this will be the last
intervention we will be having with
regards to the issue of pensions in
this country. That is my charge.
“The message the House will be
sending to the President through the
Ministers is, when you meet him to
brief him about this engagement, just
tell him that we have taken his words
to the bank and we believe that we
will cash it.”
In his remarks, president of National
Union of Pensioners (NUP), Dr Abel
Afolayan, thanked President
Muhammadu Buhari, Speaker Dogara
and the House of Representatives for
listening to their issues and taking
action.