From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Nasarawa State government says it has concluded plan to set up a computerised template, aimed at facilitating seamless and timely payment of pension benefits.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Pension Matters, Alhaji Abdullahi Ladan stated this on Thursday, while briefing newsmen at the end of a meeting with pension desk officers and leaders of pensioners union held in Lafia, the state capital.
Ladan said the plan followed series of complaints and allegations accusing desk officers of demanding gratifications from retirees, especially those from the local government before processing their papers to access entitlements.
He explained that the state will henceforth take punitive measures against any civil servant responsible for persistent delays in payment of retirees entitlements.
“We deliberated on issues that have to do with effective implementation to ensure robust pension administration in the state. We have identified an area that should be addressed to ensure that those that have retired from service do not have vacuum in terms of benefitting from what they are suppose to get as pension allowance for every month.
“We discovered that at the end of time, people get stagnated for three to four months without pensions. This is because those that are responsible for these computations do not do the needful which is processing papers that will qualify retirees to get their pensions after retirement,” he said.
He said that the state government will not hesitate to sanction civil servants who are in the habits of subjecting pensioners to hardships by creating unnecessary bottle necks that will make it difficult to access their gratuity and other benefits.
The governor’s aide noted that the present administration under the leadership of Governor Sule was commitment to the welfare of pensioners in the state.
“One priority area of Engr Abdullahi Sule is to ensure a robust pension administration in the state and he has been doing that since his assumption to office.
“I will therefore, appeal to pensioners in the state, particularly in the local government areas to be patient and co-operate with the state government as the government is doing all its best to see that their welfare is being taken care of,” he said.