Abia Govt Set To Introduce Contributory Pension Scheme For Civil Servants, Launches Help Desk To Resolve Pension Payment Concerns

 

Abia State Government in a bid to enhance the welfare of workers says it has concluded plans to introduce a “Contributory Pension Scheme” for Civil Servants in the state.

 

The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu disclosed this while briefing Newsmen on the outcome of this week’s Exco meeting presided over by Governor Alex Otti.

Abia State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu

Prince Kanu who noted that advanced preparations have been made, signaling an imminent transition to the new system said; “Plans have gone very far and very soon we would start the cutover to a contributory pension scheme”.

 

According to the Commissioner, the state government through the Ministry of Finance has established a dedicated “Help Desk”, to address potential issues or discrepancies arising from the recent pension payments.

 


He pointed out that the initiative is aimed at ensuring a seamless and error-free process that would safeguard the welfare of pensioners across the state.

 

 

Prince Kanu noted that following the recent successful payment of pensions to retirees, Governor Otti has mandated that pensioners would now receive their dues on the 28th of every month, to align with the payment schedule of civil servants in the state and added that Pensioners would receive “full monthly Pensions going forward”.

 

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Prince Okey Kanu

The Commissioner who underscored the commitment of the Abia State Government towards infrastructure development said Governor Otti has approved the reconstruction of the 3.5 Kilometer Ekeakpara road, which spans from Osisioma junction to Ekeakpara market.

 

He said the road would be reconstructed using Cement Pavement Technology with concrete drainage system which would fortify the road’s infrastructure and ensure it’s durability.

 

 

On the forthcoming ANPA Medical Mission slated to hold in the state this month, Prince Kanu said the free medical scheme has garnered significant attention, with an overwhelming response from Abians and prospective patients adding that the surge in registration has elevated the number of surgeries to be carried out from 200 to 350 patients with medical practitioners set to perform surgeries on an average of 25 patients per day.

 

Mr Mike Akpara

Speaking further on the issues of Pensions, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Mike Akpara while commending the state government for fulfilling it’s obligations, disclosed a total expenditure of over 9 billion Naira on pension arrears payment, in accordance with agreements reached with the Nigerian Union of Pensioners.

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We had an agreement with the Nigerian Union of Pensioners and His Excellency did exactly what we agreed. The agreement is to pay the arrears of pensions and that’s exactly what the government has done and they (Pensioners) are happy about that.

 

“Everybody knows that things are hard, so for a government to even own up and do what others have not done even in the past, it needs an applause”.

Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma

Contributing, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma said; “the payments are verifiable, the calculations were properly done and the negotiations with the leadership of the pensioners happened without hitches.

 

We took it to the extreme and it is true that the Governor had actually mentioned 2014 but from the information I have gathered , we even went beyond 2014, because there were some persons that were owed pension arrears prior to 2014 that we also cleared. It is not on equal bases”.

 

He highlighted efforts to address discrepancies arising from the recent pension payments adding that issues raised are being promptly resolved by the Commissioner for Finance and the Accountant General.

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The Honourable Commissioner for Finance and the Accountant General are already collating names of those who are having issues and all those issues are going to be resolved”, Ekeoma assured.

Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo

Also, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo while noting that all is now set for the upcoming ANPA free medical mission, said approval has been secured to launch a two-year certificate program in community healthcare to enhance healthcare provision in communities across the state.