By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKAâ€” IT was celebration galore in Anambra State yesterday as the governor, Mr. Peter Obi, handed over cheques amounting to N250 million for payment of outstanding pensions of local government retirees, bringing the total amount spent on pension by the present administration to N7.4 billion.
The money released yesterday would take care of workers who retired since 1996.
Obi said at the hand over ceremony that took place at the Women Development Centre, Awka, that it was a crime and mortal sin for those in authority to owe pensioners who spent their prime to serve their fatherland.
Apologizing to the pensioners for the shabby way they had been treated in the past, Obi promised that his administration would continue to pay them first before other categories of workers or contractors.
He insisted that the society was duty-bound to take care of those that contributed in building the nation, especially in their old ages when they have fewer opportunities.
He also promised that other categories of pensioners were receiving the attention of government, adding that he had equally paid N1.7 billion owed to state pensioners, just as he is currently paying the arrears remitted by the federal government some years ago, which was not accounted for.