The Anambra State Governor, Willile Obiano, has announced that pension and gratuity arrears payment should not be a celebrated event in the state any longer as every retired worker deserves his or her entitlements promptly.
The Governor announced this during the presentation of a cheque for over 940 Million Naira on Friday, July 4, to 600 Local Government pensioners for the clearance of back log of pension and gratuity arrears from January to June 2014.
The Local Government pensioners, made up of retired workers from the Local Government system and primary school teachers, gathered at the heliport section of the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, in a ceremony to receive their entitlement from the State Government.
According to the Governor who welcomed them, the payment would bring to over 40 billion Naira the amount the State Government has paid in pension and gratuity within the administration of the former Governor, Mr. Peter Obi and the present administration.
Giving assurance that payment of pension and gratuity would remain a top priority of his administration, he said that all payments must be as and when it is due since every data of pensioners had been collected.
Mr. Obiano, while restating the commitment of his administration to increasing salaries once the internally generated revenue of the state increases significantly, also urged workers to support Government in achieving set goals.
The Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mrs. Azuka Enemuo, said that the state was able to offset the huge bill of the pensioners due to fiscal discipline and prudent management of available resources and has commenced with a new phase of derivative pension scheme instead of contributory pension scheme.
Commending the Governor’s gesture to the deserving retired workers, the Chairman of Awka South Local Government Area, Azubuike Iloh, said that the Governor had done well in wiping the tears from the faces of the senior citizens.
The Governor also received thumbs up from the pensioners themselves for giving governance a human face within few months of assumption of office.