Military Pensions Board (MPB) says funds for payment of the 24 months minimum wage pension arrears to military pensioners has been included in its 2022 budget estimates, currently under consideration at the National Assembly.
Chairman of the board, Commodore Sabiru Lawal, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja.
Lawal assured all military retirees that payment of their outstanding minimum wage pension arrears would commence once the 2022 budget was passed by the national assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the attention of the board had been drawn to series of protests by members of some military veteran groups and their resolve to carry out more of such protests in some parts of the country and the FCT.
Although Lawal noted that the protests had remained peaceful, he, however, appealed to the pensioners to desist from any further agitation, as their demands were being addressed by relevant government agencies.
“Our esteemed military retirees will recall that in May, MPB notified them through a press release of my discussions with Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) with regards to payment of all their outstanding entitlements.
“This was a result of the consequential adjustments on pensions, occasioned by the Minimum Wage Act, 2019.
“My engagements with the ministry paid off in June, as funds were released to the board for payment of shortfalls in gratuities of those retired/discharged from service between April 18, 2019 and April 30, 2021, and the implementation of new pension pay chart.
“Consequently, the shortfalls in gratuities to deserving retired/discharged personnel were paid in July, while all active retirees were placed on their new pension pay scale WEF May 2021, as directed by the president.
“Consequently, I wish to inform our esteemed retirees that the funds for payment of the 24 months minimum wage pension arrears to military pensioners is included in our 2022 budget estimates, currently under consideration at the national assembly.
“I am also pleased to inform the retirees that the board’s 2022 budget estimates have been successfully defended before relevant committees of the national assembly.
“Therefore, I like to seize this opportunity to inform and assure them that once the budget is passed and assented to by Mr President, payments of the outstanding 24 months minimum wage pension arrears will commence,” he said.
Lawal also assured the retirees, their next-of-kins (NOKs) and other well-meaning Nigerians that the board would remain resolute and sustain prompt payment of all entitlements due to military retirees or their NOKs.
He further urged the retirees to continue to show greater understanding and patience by shunning any form of public protests or demonstrations, adding that all issues at stake were receiving due attention.
Lawal said owing to the current security situation in Nigeria and the spread of a new COVID-19 variant, any gathering in the name of protests should be discouraged by military pensioners and other stakeholders in the administration of military pensions.