Payment of Local Govt Pensions in Edo Prompt, Regular – Osaigbovo, Commissioner for LG
The Edo State Commissioner for Local Government, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo JP, has said that the payment of pensions for local government retirees is prompt and regular.
In a press statement issued by the Commissioner, he debunked erroneous social media posts of non-payment of pension to the retirees and stressed that the Edo State Government spends over N600 million monthly in settling the pensions of local government retirees.
The commissioner said: “The attention of the Ministry of Local Government, Edo State, has been drawn to a social media post by a certain Igbotako Nowinta, under the aegis of Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre, claiming that some retirees at the local government level in Edo State are being owed 10 months of pension arrears.
“The post further claimed that while some staff that retired in the same category, have been paid their monthly arrears, others have been left out, thereby blaming the Edo State Commissioner for Local Government for the alleged discrepancy.”
He added: “While it is not in the habit of the Ministry to breathe further life into a blatant and malicious lie by addressing it, it is however expedient that the reading public be made aware of the actual situation.
“It should be noted that while it was stated in the post that the findings emanated from investigation, no call was ever put across to the Commissioner for Local Government, Edo State, Monday Osaigbovo JP, or any staff in the Ministry of Local Government, to ascertain the verisimilitude of the claim, making one to question the authenticity of such an investigation which only takes into account the views and opinions of a party rather than both.
“Without mincing words, the deliberate efforts and commitment the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration have invested in the welfare of public servants in the State, both serving and retired, bear testament to the falsehood propagated in the post. Pensioners in the State can attest to the fact that their monthly pensions are regular and prompt, and retirees from local governments are no exception. The challenges we have had to combat with over the years, is the laxity and nonchalance with which some retirees or prospective retirees handled their pension matters.
“As a rule in the public service, a prospective retiree ought to submit a retirement notice at least six months before retirement to enable Government complete the necessary retirement procedures for an immediate kick-off of pensions upon retirement. But this has not been the case.
He maintained that “some of them disappear upon retirement and show up maybe a year or more later before they commence their retirement processes. Some travel out of the country even while they are yet to submit their retirement letters.
“This mainly accounts for the reason why some retirees in the same category get their pensions and others do not get theirs, as Government would not hold back payments for those who have done the needful towards the processing of their pensions, because of the lackadaisical attitude displayed by some others.
“As claimed by the writer therefore, there is no form of “apartheid” in the payment of pension for local government retirees, as inappropriate and decontextualized as the word itself might sound. The State Government spends over N600 million on a monthly basis to settle local government pensions. If any pensioner is being owed, it is as a result of their nonchalance.
“The Government however is showing a very high level of magnanimity by going ahead to process the retirement benefits of these retirees despite their defaults, due to the value it places on the welfare of public servants in the State, as it is not in the habit of this administration to see anyone who has served the State deprived of their entitlements.”
He assured that “those being owed will receive their payments after all necessary processes and steps have been completed. However, we must enjoin prospective retirees to submit their retirement letters in time to enable Government process their pensions on time, as this would save both the pensioners and the Government the unnecessary inconveniences associated with such defaults.
“The public is hereby advised to disregard the content of the said post as it bears no iota or semblance of truth to what truly obtains, as far as the pension of local government retirees in Edo State is concerned. Government remains committed to the welfare of all workers in the State at all times.”