BY RAPHAEL ONYEKACHUKWU – Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has assured that the pensioners in the state will be paid their arrears next week.
Okorocha, who gave the hint on Monday, when he handed Staff of Office and certificates of recognition to 16 newly recognized traditional rulers in the State, said his administration would continue to work and take steps to ensure pensioners in the State are paid as at and when due.
He explained that one of the challenges facing in his government is the issue of pension, adding that it is not his intention not to pay pension, adding; “I want to say to you, when you go back, help us in this regard to identify the genuine pensioners because you know them more than they are been known in the wards.
“I have decided to pay with the help of the Paris Club refund of N7.1 billion. Our pension is about N9 billion. I want to clear this pension. Last time I saw the pains of our pensioners; some of them, especially those from level 1 – 7 were paid full pensions.
“Now I am making frantic efforts to make sure we pay all the pensions we are owing, 100% of their money. As I am doing this, I will like to seek the help of the Community Government Councils in identifying the fake pensioners. I still don’t believe that Imo State will be the only state in Nigeria paying 1.5 billion naira as pension where states like Lagos pay 250 million naira.
“What I am paying as pension is more than what 15 states put together pay as pension. Something is wrong. I am partnering with a Chinese Company now to solve this problem.
“Go home and tell the pensioners that you met the governor and he will address their matter and ensure that they get 100% of their pension arrears.
“If in any way we are not able to continue paying in future we shall come back to them and also tell them that we cannot afford to pay, we are using the whole Paris Club refund to pay 100% pension to our dear pensioners.”