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Abia State Clears N9bn Pension Arrears

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Over N9 billion has been disbursed by the Abia State Government for settling pension arrears within the state, as revealed by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Mike Akpara.

During a briefing with journalists in Umuahia on Wednesday, Akpara confirmed that the entire pension backlog had been completely cleared in alignment with the agreement reached with the Nigerian Union of Pensioners in the state.

Addressing the matter, Akpara stated, “We reached a mutual agreement with the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, and in accordance with our commitment, His Excellency (Alex Otti) ensured full compliance with the terms. The accord involved the settlement of pension arrears, which has been diligently executed by the government, much to the satisfaction of the pensioners.”

He further added, “Given the challenging economic conditions, it is commendable for a government to acknowledge and fulfill its obligations, surpassing the efforts of previous administrations. Some individuals received up to N8 million, underscoring the significant impact of this initiative.”

Adding to this, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma, the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, emphasized that the disbursements are transparent and accurately calculated, with seamless negotiations conducted with the pensioners’ leadership.

“We went above and beyond, with the governor referring to 2014, but upon thorough examination, we discovered unaddressed pension arrears dating back prior to 2014, which we also settled. The resolutions were tailored to each case,” Ekeoma explained.

He further assured, “The Finance Commissioner and the Accountant General are actively identifying and resolving any lingering pension issues.”

Earlier in the Executive Council meeting briefing at Government House Umuahia, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Okey Kanu, outlined that a dedicated help desk had been established within the Ministry of Finance to rectify discrepancies and aid pensioners following the recent disbursement of arrears by Governor Alex Otti.

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