By Edward Adamidenyo, Regional Editor
The Military Pensions Board (MPB), on Friday said that it has commenced payment of 25 percent of the arrears of minimum wage increments to eligible military retirees on MPB payroll.
Chairman of the Board, Rear Admiral Saburi Abayomi Lawal who made this disclosure in a statement in Abuja, also said that the payment commenced on Thursday 3 February 2022.
According to the statement, “This payment is the first out of 4 instalments payments that will be made to all pensioners entitled to the arrears of minimum wage increment on pensions. Our esteemed pensioners are pleased to note that this instalment payment arrangement is the outcome of the discussions and agreement reached between the Board and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMoFBNP) for quarterly releases of the appropriated sum in the first month of each quarter”.
The Chairman also revealed that subsequent payments of the outstanding arrears will be in April, July and October 2022.
“Additionally, I would like to further inform you that all Next of Kins (NOKs) of deceased military pensioners who are eligible for the same arrears would be paid the minimum wage increments together with the shortfall of the death benefits earlier paid to them. Accordingly, Next of Kins of deceased military pensioners who died between April 2019 and April 2021 are advised to contact their banks for these payments. Furthermore, the Board would like to reiterate that this payment is basically for arrears of increment in pensions of military retirees who are on MPB payroll between 18 April 2019 and 30 April 2021,” he said.
Rear Admiral Lawal explained that pensions of senior officers of the rank of Major General and above or its equivalents are not affected by the consequential adjustments on pensions occasioned by the new National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act 2019, hence, they are not entitled to the 24 months’ minimum wage arrears.
He assured military retirees, NOKs and Nigerians that payment of all the arrears will be completed before the end of the year, if FMoFBNP releases the funds appropriately.