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Published On: Thu, Aug 21st, 2014

Obanikoro assures military retirees of payment of arrears

Senator-Musiliu-ObanikoroThe Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musliu Obanikoro, on Thursday in Abuja assured military retirees that all their pension arrears would soon be paid.

Obanikoro, who gave this assurance when he visited the Military Pensions Board (MPB), also assured them that the Revised Armed Forces Pensions Bill would soon be passed into law.

The minister assured the retirees who had not received their arrears, especially from the recent increase, that the issue was receiving speedy attention.

Obanikoro said that the Federal Government was giving attention to agitations by retirees for the payment of the arrears.

“I assure you that the issues raised will receive positive attention, it will not just be a promise; the promise will be kept.

“I want to send a strong message to the retirees and the families of those who have lost their lives fighting for the nation that this administration is behind them,’’ he said.

The minister said that “the number of casualties suffered as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency made it compelling that not only are the families paid the benefits but on time and well.

“We don’t want a situation where our officers and soldiers will be in the battle front and worrying what will happen to their family.

“Some of the issues raised by the board will definitely receive attention.’’

He said government would ensure that those who served the country and retired with dignity receive their benefits and entitlements.

Obanikoro urged Nigerians to emulate the U.S. where military personnel were appreciated for sacrificing their lives for the well-being of their country, adding that the war against insurgency should be seen as everybody’s business.

Earlier, Air Commodore Mohammed Dabo, Chairman of the Military Pensions Board, said over 160 Biafran veterans had been paid their pensions.

He said the payment to the ex-Biafran soldiers was as a result of the Presidential pardon granted them by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000.

Dabo said that the board had made significant achievements despite challenges, including accurate and prompt payment of about 130,000 military pensioners currently on its payroll.



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