Call Off the Protests, Your 24 months Minimum Wage Pension Arrears has been included in 2022 budget – Commodore Lawal, MPB Chairman tells Veterans.

Authorities of the Military Pensions Board (MPB) have called on military veteran groups and and ex-soldiers protesting delay in payment of their 24 months arrears of minimum wage pension, to call off the protests as the money to offset the payment has been included in the 2022 budget.

Chairman MPB, Commodore Saburi Lawal who made the call in Abuja on Monday, also disclosed that the Board’s year 2022 budget estimates have been successfully defended before relevant committees of the National Assembly.

“Therefore, I would like to seize this opportunity to inform and assure all our esteemed pensioners that once the year 2022 budget is passed and assented to by Mr President, payments of the outstanding 24 months minimum wage pension arrears will commenced”, he said.

“In view of these developments, the MPB wishes to assure our valued military retirees, NOKs and other well-meaning Nigerians that the Board remains resolute and will sustain the prompt payment of all entitlements due to military retirees or their NOKs”.

It would be recalled that military pensioners/veterans have since last week commenced stste by state protests over the delay in the payment of the minimum wage increase arrears.

These disclosures were contained in “an update on payment of 24 months minimum wage pension arrears to military retirees” signed by Commodore Lawal

He said, “The attention of the Military Pensions Board (MPB) has been drawn to series of protests by members of some military veteran groups and their resolve to carry out more of such protests in some other parts of the country and the FCT.

“Even though the protests have remained peaceful, the Board wishes to appeal to our esteemed pensioners to desist from any further agitation as their demands are being addressed by relevant government agencies.

“Our esteemed military retirees would recall that in May 2021 the MPB notified them through a press release of my discussions with the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) with regards to payment of all outstanding entitlements of military retirees as a result of the consequential adjustments on pensions occasioned by the New Minimum Wage Act, 2019.

“My engagements with the Ministry paid off in June 2021 as funds were released to the Board for payment of shortfalls in gratuities of military retirees who retired/discharged from the Services between 18 April 2019 and 30 April 2021 as well as the implementation of the new pensions pay chart.

“Consequently, the shortfall in gratuities to deserving retired/discharged personnel were paid in July 2021, while all active retirees were placed on their new pension pay scale effective May 2021 as directed by the President and Commander -in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“It is in this light that I wish to inform our esteemed retirees that the funds for payment of the 24 months minimum wage pension arrears to military pensioners is included in the Board’s year 2022 budget estimates, currently under consideration at the National Assembly.

“Furthermore, I am also pleased to inform our esteemed retirees that the Board’s year 2022 budget estimates have been successfully defended before relevant committees of the National Assembly.

“Therefore, I would like to seize this opportunity to inform and assure all our esteemed pensioners that once the year 2022 budget is passed and assented to by Mr President, payments of the outstanding 24 months minimum wage pension arrears will commence.

“In view of these developments, the MPB wishes to assure our valued military retirees, NOKs and other well-meaning Nigerians that the Board remains resolute and will sustain the prompt payment of all entitlements due to military retirees or their NOKs.

“Our retirees are please urged to continue to show greater understanding and patience and not to embark on any form of public protests or demonstrations as the issues at stake are receiving due attention.

“Additionally, in the face of the current security situation in the country and the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 Virus, gatherings of any sort in the name of protests of any kind should be discouraged by military pensioners and other stakeholders in the administration of military pensions.

“While thanking you all for your patience, understanding and continued support, please accept my esteemed regards.”

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