The federal government has released N54 billion to clear part of the backlog of accrued pension rights for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Mr Salisu Danbatta announced on Wednesday that N41.5 billion has already been released to the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) which is for onward payment to those who retired under the Contributory Pension Scheme and are yet to be paid.
Danbatta quoted the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun as saying that N12.5 billion, being outstanding for January, February and March 2017, was also released, bringing the total to about N54 billion.
Despite conflicting demands for available cash, President Muhammadu Buhari has always expressed concern over the plight of workers and pensioners.
Consistent with this, we have released N41.5 billion which clears the arrears inherited from the previous administration relating to the period 2013-15 and underpayments in 2016.
This will bring relief to thousands of our elders who have served and deserve to be paid their entitlements promptly and fully.
The minister also said that the amount paid also included arrears of those who retired as far back as 2013 and had been unable to access their pension under the contributory scheme due to non-payment.
To avoid future accumulation of pension arrears, Adeosun said that henceforth:
The monthly allocation to the PENCOM based on the appropriation of 2017 will regularly be paid along with monthly salaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).