Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom has directed the commissioner of finance to raise an overdraft of N600 million for the payment of April and May pension arrears to retired civil servants.
Governor Ortom stated this while addressing members of the Concerned Union of Pensioners, who for the past 3 days occupied the Government House Gate.
He maintained that Government has no justification to owe retirees their benefits, considering that most of them were living on medication, saying they will receive the pay on Monday next week.
Governor Ortom appealed to the pensioners to understand the challenges the Government was facing, adding that his administration inherited a debt over N17 billion as pension and gratuity and has been able to reduce it substantially.
Chairman of the Concerned Union of Pensioners, Benue State Chapter, Mr. Peter Kyado thanked the Governor for coming to address them and appealed to him to ensure that they are paid before other civil servants.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Joseph Kyume speaking with newsmen after he visited Governor Ortom with members of his union condemned the demonstration by members of the Concerned Union of Pensioners saying the group had no right to speak for the pensioners as it was not recognised by law, claiming that their actions had political undertones.
Mr. Kyume commended Governor Ortom for domesticating the pension act as well as setting up a committee to work towards harmonising the payment of pension and appealed to him to source money to clear the pension arrears.