IN A BID to forestall a series of garnishee orders, Benue State Government has appealed to pensioners in the state to withdraw all pending cases from Court.
It also pleaded with those who may be nursing ideas of dragging the state government to court to stop henceforth.
The State Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Fidelis Mnyim, explained that some of the court cases resorted to consent judgement and subsequent garnishee orders.
The commissioner made the at a stakeholders meeting held with pensioners in Makurdi just as he explained the challenges that confronted the new administration since May 29th.
According to the commissioner, arrears of pension allowances and gratuities of 42 and 96 months from the State and Local Government Areas respectively amounted to N163.7 billion were inherited from the immediate past government.
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The commissioner however said that the present administration has been faithful to his campaign promises to pensioners by paying their allowances every month adding that those who had retired since the assumption of Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia had been paid their gratuities.
According to him, “This meeting is at the instance of the governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia to see how the government can alleviate the plight of pensioners in the state.
“Since the governor assumed office, our senior citizens have been receiving their allowances every month, those who retired since the coming of this government have all been paid their gratuities.
“All the calls to withdraw cases from court do not amount to threat but an appeal to all of us so as to allow the governor to concentrate on regular payment of pension allowances and gratuities.
“As at the time the governor assumed office, the state pensioners were being owed 42 months and local government 96 months all amounted to N163.7 billion.
Speaking at the meeting, the state chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Michael Vembe appreciated the governor for keeping to his campaign promises by paying pension allowances promptly.
Vembe called on the governor to implement the consequential adjustment harmonization, give palliatives in either form of monetary or food items to pensioners and give free treatment to pensioners at the primary health centres across the state.
He lamented that most of the pensioners still earn N2,000 monthly.
Also speaking on behalf of retired permanent secretaries, Hyacinth Ikyagba blamed the immediate past administration for not prioritizing the welfare of pensioners.
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This, he said was responsible for some of the cases in court.