THE Niger State Government has released N800 million for the payment of pensions and gratuities in the state.
Governor Abubakar Bello disclosed this during an interactive session with members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC in Minna.
He said N500 million was released to the state Pensions Board in February and additional N300 million had just been released to settle the outstanding pensions and gratuities of retirees in the state.
The governor noted that government had also started paying death benefits to ease sufferings of families of the deceased persons, saying: “I am proud to say today that what we have done for pensioners, no administration in the past had done that; the records are there in the pension board office.
“This is because we know how very important pension is to those who have retired. When you think of people that rely on pensions for survival, you won’t dare play with their lives.
“We will continue to pay the pensions. Although the money keeps increasing, we will continue to pay until the Contributory Pension Scheme kicks off,” he said.
Earlier, state Chairman of NLC, Malam Idris Ndako called on the governor to ensure that workers whose promotions had yet to be implemented were affected.
Ndako commended him for ensuring the welfare of the workers, and urged him to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage once it was implemented by the Federal Government.
Also, Alhaji Baba Sani, the state Secretary of Pensioners, commended the governor for the payment of pensions and for the release of additional money to settle them.