Some pensioners in Edo State may smile soon as the state government kicks off the process of its phased payment of pension arrears to senior citizens of the state who had been marking time on the queue for some years now.
Sunday this week, the Godwin Obaseki-led governmentannounced the commencement of physical and documentary verification ofpensioners in batches 51, 52 and 53 as part of efforts to clear pension arrearsin the state. In a statement by the permanent secretary and state chairman,Pension Bureau, Saylor Juwobor, all pensioners in the afore-mentionedbatches were invited to present themselves for screening at the ImagueroSecondary School Hall, Benin City, on July 24 and 25, 2019.
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Juwobor also advised pensioners in previousbatches who failed to participate in the previous verification exercisesto take advantage of the forthcoming screening exercise alongside pensionersin batches 51, 52 and 53.
While urging affected pensioners to check their names on the published list at theEdo State Pensions Bureau, Oba Ovoramwen Square, Benin City on Wednesday andThursday this week, the scheduled days for the verification exercise, thechairman directed them to come along with required documents namely, pensionauthority, retirement letter, letter of first appointment, and pension identitycard. They are also to report with their biometric slip, and bank details,including bank name, and account number.
Pensioners in Diaspora in the affected batches, especiallythose in Europe and America, are also taken into consideration in theverification exercise as, according to Juwobor, they could be screened viaSkype. The new strategy in clearing pension arrears adopted by Obaseki hadended years of unrest, agitations and street protests by senior citizens in thestate.
Recall that the immediate past administration of AdamsOshiomhole had shut down the state pension board making it impossible forretirees to process their severance gratuities and monthly pensions leading tofrequent protests against the government, a situation that was inherited by thepresent administration.