The Niger Government says it has so far released N2.6 billion as pension to 1,599 state and local government pensioners within the last three years.
The Director-General of the state Pensions Board, Alhaji Usman Muhammad, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Minna.
He said the breakdown of the amount showed that N1 billion was paid to the pensioners in the state employment, while those of the local government got N1.5 billion within the period.
According to him, 1,599 persons have benefited.
He added that out of the figure 456 were for the state, while 1,143 belonged to the local governments.
He said the payments were in five batches, adding that the fifth batch for the local government pensioners was yet to be implemented.
The director general explained that on assumption of office of the current management on March 18, 2016, the board carried out an analysis of outstanding liabilities it met amounting to about N4.3 billion.
“After a careful look at the figure, a final amount of N2.06 billion was finally established as outstanding liabilities under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) for the State and Local Government beneficiaries,” he noted.
He, however, said the PFAs were frustrating the payment of entitlements to pensioners under the Contributory Pensions Scheme.
“There have been some observed delays by the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) who are deliberately dragging the process of the payment of the refunds to beneficiaries.
“Having observed this, the board intimated the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) in some of its several correspondences and reported the issue of undue delays by PFAs,” he explained.
He, however, said that the situation had changed within the last three weeks as 10 out the 19 PFAs involved had started effecting payments.