By Victor Ernest
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, and the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, have disclosed that the Federal Government lacks the funds to upset mounting pension liabilities.
They disclosed this on Thursday while addressing the members of the House of Representatives in Abuja on measures taken to address the plight of pensioners.
The House summoned Udoma and Adeosun after the members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners sought the intervention of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, to ask the government to pay pension arrears in excess of N459bn.
Udoma, who was the first to speak, said though the government gave pension payment top priority, it was constrained by funding challenges.
He explained how the government battled with a recurring problem of the huge gap between pension requirements and the actual funds appropriated for pension payment.
President is concerned
The minister informed members that President Muhammadu Buhari was worried over the plight of pensioners and had set up a committee with a mandate to reconcile all the figures and report back to him for necessary action.
Adeosun, who merely repeated Udoma’s presentation when she spoke, tried to exonerate the Buhari administration from blame.
She recalled how the government released N42bn on Wednesday to clear the 2014 arrears of pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
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