Lawmakers seek bailout fund to pay pensioners

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja

Federal Lawmakers have mandated the leadership of the Senate to liaise with President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in the provision of a bailout fund for the payment of pensioners.

This followed a petition submitted by a lawmaker representing Bayelsa Central, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, during the plenary on Tuesday over the non-payment of pensioners since 2015.

Senator Paulker admitted that if urgent steps are not taken to pay the pensioners, the Pension scheme may eventually collapse.

Senator James Manager, representing Delta South, who said that “these people are suffering because we owe them, and it is not easy to serve and retire alive,” further explained that “Nigeria doesn’t lack the appropriate laws. The laws are there but it is how to adhere to these laws that is our problem.”

Also reacting, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya, representing Kebbi North, while advocating for timely payment of pensioners, said the families of those owed depend on the money for their survival.

In his contribution, Senator Utazi Chukwuka of Enugu North, stated that there is no way you encourage civil servants to work for 30 or 35 years and, at the end, deprive them their pension.

Senate President Bukola Saraki who commended the Senators for a well deliberated issue, admitted that “the issue of pension arrears is one we need to take seriously.”

He added that, “We must ensure and follow up on the outstanding amount of 2016 is released,” adding that “Senate will take more of the prayers and ensure it follows with the speaker and Mr. President.”

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