By Hussaina Yakubu
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State will start the payment of N30,000 new minimum pension to the state’s retirees that were on the old Defined Benefit Pension scheme by the end of March.
The governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Kaduna.
El-Rufai said that the new wage would upgrade 11,511 pensioners, who were previously earning less than N30,000 monthly pension.
He said that all the government agencies had received the circular from the Office of the Head of Service to effect the new pension structure.
“Following the decision of the Kaduna State Executive Council to increase the minimum pension to N30,000 monthly, the Head of Service, Bariatu Mohammed, has issued the necessary circular to government agencies to implement from March 2020,’’ he said.
The governor directed ‘’the agencies to comply and implement the directive of the State Executive Council (EXCO), which recently reviewed upward the minimum pension in the state.’’
The increase was part of the state government’s “continuous efforts to ensure welfare for both serving and retired public servants.
”The decision of the EXCO would no doubt improve the living standard of this category of senior citizens.’’
The governor said that some of the pensioners were receiving pensions as low as N3,000 before the increase. added that the decision aligned the minimum pension payable to retirees on the old Defined Benefits Scheme with the new national minimum wage.
“A report presented to the state EXCO noted that as at November 2019, 6,452 of 10,815 state government pensioners earned less than N30,000 as monthly pension. At the local government level, 5,059 of 9,295 pensioners earned less than N30,000 monthly.”
He pointed out that although the pensioners would be better off, the upward review would cost the state extra N200 million monthly.
He noted that the state began the implementation of a Contributory Pension Scheme on Jan. 1, 2017, adding that Pencom assessed the scheme highly.
‘’However, the state continues to discharge its obligations to workers, who retired before that date, whose pensions are covered by the Defined Benefits Scheme,’’ he stated.