<<< By Tahav Agerzua >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed the State Head of Service to commence the compilation of local government retirees in the State from 2009 to 2014.
He gave the directive today while addressing a coalition of the retirees not yet on pension who staged a peaceful protest to the Benue People’s House in Makurdi.
The Governor explained that the documentation would enable his administration to enlist the retirees for subsequent payment of their pension benefits as soon as the necessary procedures were completed.
Governor Ortom who reiterated that he was running a transparent and all inclusive administration assured members of the coalition that he would appeal to the bailout committee to consider payment of the N143 million arrears owed them.
He urged the people of the State to disregard rumours that his administration had diverted the bailout funds, noting that staff of the local governments yet to receive the arrears of their wages would be paid as soon as the ongoing verification was completed.
Governor Ortom attributed the rumour to members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who do not mean well for his administration and challenged those with information that either he or any of his appointees were culpable of corruption to make it public.
The State Head of Service, Mr. Adaikwu Inwata, in his remarks confirmed that the retirees were yet to be documented.
He assured that with the directive of the Governor his office would commence the process without delay.
Earlier, Chairman of the Coalition of Local Government Retirees, Mr. Michael Vembe, said their protest to the Benue People’s House was to appeal to the Governor to place their members on monthly pension which requires the release of N83 million for 1,315 Batch ‘A’ retirees while N60 million would be for 713 in Batch ‘B’.
The retirees thanked Governor Ortom for the prompt approval for the commencement of their documentation.