The Rivers State Government has assured that payment of pension arrears for retirees in the State will commence by next month.
The Director-General of the State Pension Board, Samuel Ijeomah disclosed this when pensioners staged a protest at the State Government House in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
The pensioners had staged the protest to demand payment of their pension arrears and gratuities.
One of the leaders of the protesting retirees, lamented that some of their members have “died due to hardship”.
Addressing the retirees, the D.G of the pension board said the State governor has approved the payment of the backlog of pensioners who had “completed their biometrics” since last year and early this year.
He said “As of last week, the governor has approved the payment of all of them. About 1000 persons and I’m sure by next week, they will be paid.
“I know the other things that bother retirees is the backlog of pension arrears and gratuities and death benefit.
“I have gotten some information that this payment will commence next month. We will be doing them in batches and the first batch will commence from next month.
“That is the message I want to give to us. This month is already ended. From next month, we will start paying this pension arrears from the beginning.
“We are not going to start from people who just retired, we will start from when we stopped”.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of the pensioners, Lucky Ati threatened that the retirees will return to the Government House if by next month the payment had not commenced.