By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.
Authorities of the Military Pensions Board said at the weekend that all outstanding shortfalls of gratuities of pensioners who were retired or discharged between April 2019 and May 2021 have been paid by the board.
The feat of successfully paying out these outstanding shortfall which had been a recurring issue of crisis among retired military personnel has elicited encomiums and commendation from affected pensioners with many of them applauding the management of the pensions board and the defence headquarters for keeping to their promise to offset the shortfall.
This was made known in a statement signed by Flight Lieutenant O Lawal, Public Relations Officer on behalf of the Chairman MPB, Commodore Saburi Abayomi Lawal,
It reads, “The Military Pensions Board (MPB) extends its compliments to our esteemed military retirees and wishes to inform them and their Next of Kins (NOK) that the Board has paid the shortfall in gratuities of military retirees who retired/discharged from the Services between 18 April 2019 and 31 May 2021 to their respective bank accounts today, 29 July 2021.
“This payment is occasioned by the implementation of the new pension chart released by the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) in April 2021 as a result of the implementation of the consequential adjustments on pensions.
“Also, the Board has paid the shortfall in the gratuities of deceased retirees who retired/discharged within same time frame to the respective bank accounts of their recorded NOK or family members who had hitherto been paid the deceased’s death benefits.
“The Board would like to reiterate that this payment is basically for the shortfall in gratuities paid to personnel that retired/discharged from Service between 18 April 2019 and 31 May 2021 and ‘Not’ for the outstanding 24 months (April 2019 – April 2021) arrears of the consequential adjustments on pensions.
“Our esteemed pensioners are requested to note that the Board is in constant discussion with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMoFBNP) for release of funds to cater for these particular arrears.
“In addition, it is pertinent to state that pensions or gratuities of senior officers of the rank of Major General and above or its equivalents are not affected by the consequential adjustments on pensions occasioned by the new National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act 2019.
“The MPB wishes to assure our esteemed military retirees, NOKs and other well-meaning Nigerians that the Board remains resolute and will sustain the prompt payment of all entitlements due to all military retirees or their NOK once funds are made available.
It commended pensioners with outstanding benefits to collect, “for your patience, understanding and continued support to the Chairman Military Pensions Board.”