By Omobola Tolu-Kusimo
Umuahia (Precise Post) – With a pension deficit of over N21 billion to pensioners, the Abia State Government is set to settle all its pension arrears, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Uko has said.
Uko, who spoke to reporters on the verification of pensioners in the state, assured that the exercise would address the challenge.
He said the government was not unmindful that there might be some irregular names on the payroll, hence the need to update the list.
He also said it was the desire of the government that at the end of the exercise, it would not return to the era of pension arrears.
He stressed that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu desires that pensioners should enjoy the benefits of their active service years.
He noted that one of the benefits of the exercise involving over 50 Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts is to ascertain the genuine pensioners.
He said: “We need to know what is the quantum of arrears to know how to liquidate it in the coming months.What is different from what we are doing is that there have to be a finger and facial capture.
“There will be a 10-day exercise, where verifications will be conducted at designated centres across the state, noting that ambulances, free-medical services and, entertainment would be provided for the pensioners.
“The exercise is solely for state pensioners, and the ambulances will be used for both emergencies and reaching out to sick and incapacitated pensioners who could not make it to the centres in their homes.”