Legislators to approve funds in 2017 budget to clear pension backlog

Sources say the decision might have been reached at a meeting in the private residence of Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Leaders of Nigeria's Legislative Arm - Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara

Sources say the decision might be one of the agreements reached at a meeting of the principal officers of both chambers in the private residence of Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Earlier this year, pensioners had written to Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara asking them to intervene in the plight of pensioners who retired under the Contributory Pension Scheme without being paid.

The Senate President and the Speaker subsequently briefed the Chairmen in the Senate and House appropriations committees to seek out ways to increase the funding for pensions in the budget.

A source who was familiar with the development, stated that the Senate President and Speaker, briefed the Joint Leadership meeting on the development, urging the principal officers to liaise with the relevant committees to ensure that the appropriations for the pension backlog were included in the 2017 budget.

“This is another social welfare intervention on the part of the National Assembly,” the source said, “It is clear that the legislators take the plight of pensioners seriously, and will continue to work to ensure that this issue is handled in this budget cycle.”

Earlier this week, the National Assembly, through the Appropriations Committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives also kick-started the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by injecting N15 billion into the 2017 budget to begin the construction process.

This particular measure was to forestall any future closures of the Airport as experienced from March 8 to April 19.

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