The Edo State government says it has spent N25,047,472,632.77 for the payment of monthly pension of 13,081 pensioners from November 2016 to May 2020.
According to the Mid-Year Report of the Edo State Pension Bureau, the government has also expended over N4.3 billion in clearing the backlog of outstanding pension arrears owed about 3,128 pensioners in the state.
A breakdown of the figure shows that the government spent a total of N771,714,393.01 between November and December 2016 for the payment of pensions; expended N5,371,283,211.09 in 2017; while N6,452,535,649.08 and N7,936,681,957.45 were spent in 2018 and 2019 for the same purpose.
“For 2020, the government spent N735,069,623.04; N736,780,760.18; N759,731,334.31; N760,620,948.61; N759,695,333.23 and N763,359,423.02 in January, February, March, April, May and June respectively,” the report stated.
It explained that with the setting aside of N200 million monthly, the Godwin Obaseki administration was able to defray arrears of pensions dating back to 1996 to December 2018.
The government, the Bureau noted, divided the pensioners into batches 37 to 65 and ensured that the backlog was cleared after physical and documentary verifications.
Following the payment of outstanding pension arrears, it revealed that the government would consider harmonisation of pensions and payment of death benefits and gratuity in the weeks ahead.
The Bureau disclosed that an efficient management process has been put in place to fast-track the processing and documentation of retiring officers’ entitlements, thus ensuring a seamless migration from salary payroll to pension payroll.
It stressed that this has minimised the incidence of accumulation of pension arrears that had been a burden before the inception of the present administration.
The report also revealed that civil servants eligible to register under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have the benefit of a Group Life Insurance cover that makes provision for beneficiaries of contributors in the event of death in active service.
“The sum of N80,713,446.34 was paid as premium for 9,803 Edo State employees in the CPS. With this payment made, the next of kin of deceased employees receives three times their gross annual salary as benefits.
“From the commencement of the CPS on January 1, 2017 till date, a total sum of N 81,169,724.24 have been paid to families of 34 deceased employees of the State Public Service who were enrolees of the CPS,” it noted.
The report stated further, “The state government exercised political will and has been committed to the payment of pension arrears, monthly pension, death benefits under the Defined Benefit Scheme and government’s 10 per cent matching contribution into the Employees’ RSA, in compliance with the provisions of the Edo State Contributory Pension Scheme Law of 2010 as amended.
“The state has made remittances of contributions of both employees (8%) and employer (10%) to the PFAs for 39 months, i.e. from January 2017 to April 2020 which amounts to N5,230,348,954.34.
“Of this, government’s (employer) matching (10%) contribution is N2,905,749,419.08 only, while that of the employees’ (8%) contribution is N 2,324,599,535.26. Also, a Retirement Benefits Bonds Redemption Fund (RBBRF) account has been opened with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“This account is being funded monthly to ensure that funds are available to defray the accrued pension rights of employees who have registered for the Contributory Pension Scheme. The RBBRF Account is being funded with 5% of the total monthly wage bill of employees in fulfilment of the provision of the Contributory Pension Scheme Law.”
Senator Elisha Abbo Defects To APC , Says He’s Joining Buhari ‘To Build Nigeria Of Our Dream’
The Senator who is representing Adamawa North in the Senate announced his defection in a letter addressed to the House.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read the letter during Wednesday’s plenary session.
In the letter, Senator Abbo explained that his decision to defect to the APC is because of the mismanagement of the PDP in Adamawa state by Governor Umaru Fintiri. Abbo also said He’s Joining Buhari ‘To Build Nigeria Of Our Dream’
Senator Abbo has been in the news for assaulting a woman in an adult toy shop in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Maitama, earlier in September, awarded N50 million damages against Senator Abbo, to be paid as compensation to Osimibibra Warmate, a female attendant at a sex-toy shop, whom he assaulted.
Justice Samira Bature gave the order in her judgment on the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Warmate against the senator.
Earlier on July 3, 2019, the lawmaker was caught on camera physically assaulting a woman in Abuja, two months after he allegedly committed the act.
CCTV Footage Has Vindicated Nigerian Army Of Complicity In Alleged Lekki Massacre – Human Rights Lawyer
A human rights lawyer, Werigbelegha Zinaka has stated that the Nigerian Army has been vindicated of any wrong doing at the Lekki Tollgate incidence. He said this in an interaction with journalists on the sides at the ongoing hearing of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution in Lagos.
The human rights lawyer who serves as an attorney for the International Human Rights Association at the panel also stated that from the CCTV footage that was analyzed, it indeed vindicates the Nigerian Army of any wrongdoing.
“The Judicial Panel of Inquiry has been very engaging with quite some revelations that indeed put issues in proper perspective. Worthy of mention is the revelation from the CCTV footage at the Lekki Tollgate that indeed explained the level of involvement of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Tollgate.”
“All concerned parties viewed the CCTV footage, and I wish to state that it was clear that the consensus is that the Nigerian Army did not commit massacre as wildly alleged in some certain quarters in the country.”
He further stated that with the various presentations at the panel, there had not been any evidence to substantiate the fact that any life was lost at the Lekki Tollgate.
“This panel has been very meticulous in its analysis, and I can tell you that serious business is going on here. I can also say from all the submissions and reviews; there has not been any evidence to back the claims the lives were lost at the Lekki Tollgate incidence and most especially from the CCTV footage that was reviewed.”
“So it remains an illusion that the Nigerian Army committed massacre at the Lekki Tollgate. This is understandable given the role of fake news in the whole scenario. And ironically, those that were spreading all sorts from their comfort zones have refused to come to the panel to substantiate their claims.”
He further faulted the recently released report by the Cable News Network (CNN) stating that it was done in bad faith and not a reflection of the issues on the ground.
“The CNN report was highly misleading and with an ulterior motive in my candid opinion. It was obvious that the target of the report was the Nigerian Army, and it was very poor in its execution. It was more of a judgmental pronouncement than a news report, and I am not aware that CNN is an arbiter of the law. This much they must be aware of and the need for some level circumspection in analysis of issues of this nature.”
“We must call a spade a spade and understand that what the CNN attempted to do in its report was to influence the outcome of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army. The backlash the report has received indeed says it all. And I believe that CNN must have learnt its lessons.”
It would be recalled that in the aftermath of the escalation of violence at the EndSARS protests, the Lagos State Government inaugurated a 7-member Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses in the State.
Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi chairs the panel; other members are Mr Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society); Taiwo Lakanu, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ms Patience Udoh, representing the Civil Society; Mr Segun Awosanya, Human Rights Activist, Mrs Olutoyin, Odusanya, Director, Citizens Mediation Center, as well as a representative of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.
Discard CNN Report On Lekki Shootings Targeted At Demonising Nigeria’s Military – Group
The March4Nigeria movement has urged Nigerians and the international community to disregard CNN’s report on the Lekki shooting in Lagos, noting that it is targeted at demonising the Nigerian military.
The group said after a careful scrutiny of the report, it concluded that CNN has joined campaign of calumny against the Nigerian government as well as the military.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Director of Publicity, Deborah Ndace said CNN was irresponsible with its report, following an already existing narrative that was in the public domain.
The March4Nigeria movement, however, demanded an unreserved apology from the American news channel to the federal government, the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian people.
While calling on Nigerians to ignore CNN, the group urged the international community to question its credibility as an organisation for engaging in acts that are divisive and promote violence.
Read full statement below:
You are all welcome to this press conference meant to put issues in proper perspectives with regards to the recently released report by the Cable News Network (CNN) with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the EndSARS protest at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.
We wish to state that after careful scrutiny of the report, it was identified that it was indeed an attempt to demonize the Nigerian Army whose only offence was standing on the side of democracy by averting what was clearly a coup attempt at our nascent democracy.
The CNN in its report was tactically evasive in addressing the issues, but instead, it elected to tow the dishonorable path of making wild goose allegations against the Nigerian Army without the necessary facts to back their claims.
The March4Nigeria is not only alarmed that an organization that has built a reputation of responsible journalism over decades would throw caution into the wind in furtherance of the agenda of a select few at the detriment of millions of people that rely on it for news reportage across the globe.
The focus of the CNN on Nigeria is not a coincidence, but rather a well-orchestrated plot by some very powerful interest hell-bent on truncating the democratic experience in Nigeria and to give international credence to their nefarious plot, the likes of the CNN was coopted to lead this campaign of calumny against the government of Nigeria, as well as the Nigerian Military.
This is nothing short of irresponsible journalism that can only be perpetuated by a leading proponent of Fake News in the United States of America attempting to expand its antics to the African continent.
It was expected that CNN would stay true to the tenets of journalism by undertaking a thorough investigation. Instead, it relied on an already existing narrative that has already been in the public domain and gotten stale.
It is also despicable that a news medium such as the CNN would put out such half-truths with the ultimate aim of escalating issues that have received the required response from the government and other critical stakeholders in the country.
In the light of the above, the March4Nigeria is stating in unequivocal terms that the report by the CNN is indeed malicious and a great disservice to the journalism profession in all ramifications.
We are consequently aligning with the position of the federal government in demanding an unreserved apology from the CNN to the federal government, the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian people whose sensibilities have been insulted by the highly lopsided report.
We also wish to remind the proprietors of the CNN that Nigeria is not by any stretch of the imagination the United States of America where it has consistently attacked the administration of President Donald Trump.
The importance of the CNN tendering an unreserved apology is to correct the wrong its report has had on the psyche of members of the unsuspecting general public in Nigeria and outside the shores of Nigeria.
We are also using this medium to call on the international community to question the credibility of the CNN as an organization for engaging in acts that are divisive and promote violence as exemplified in its report on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria.
Nigerians must also be aware that the CNN is indeed acting the script of some vested interest that have been targeting our nascent democracy without success. Nigerians must, as a matter of necessity, come in one accord to condemn the CNN report in its totality.
The implication of allowing the CNN to get away with this treatise on Nigeria is that more ferocious attacks would be launched against our democracy and critical institutions such as the Nigerian Army, which would be our greatest undoing.
The exigency of time requires all hands to be on the deck in the interest of peace and sustainable development. We must not sit and watch while the likes of the CNN demonize and rubbish the efforts of the government and the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order in Nigeria.
Thank you all.
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