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Delta spends N1.5bn monthly on pensions – Okowa’s spokesman
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Delta, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, says the Senator Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration in the state spends no less than N1.5 billion monthly in servicing pension obligations.
Ifeajika made this known while answering questions on a radio programme in Asaba, and said that it was not true that the state government was not paying pensions regularly.
He debunked rumours that the government had abandoned pensioners in the state to their own fate.
The governor’s image maker restated that the Okowa administration inherited over N60 billion unpaid pension and been defraying it in addition to paying persons who retired since he assumed office and had pushed up the liabilities.
“Every month, the Okowa-administration releases at least N1.5 billion for the payment of pension liabilities which includes payment for inherited arrears, for those retiring since the administration came in, and to those under the old pension scheme.
“The protest over pension liabilities is politically-motivated because at every point in time, we have made it clear that we remained committed to the payment of these liabilities.
“The recent protest over pension was sponsored by some people for political reasons and Deltans know that. The government is paying pensions monthly and we will continue to prioritise the payment,” he said.
On the seeming squabbles in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Ifeajika said that the party was one family and that the principle of rotation of power had been in the state since 1999.
He said the people of Delta Central, through a group headed by a highly respected politician in the state, Senator Ighoyota Amori, in its wisdom, invited and screened aspirants for the governorship position, and submitted final list to the party to guide its choice of candidate.
He explained that the governor, being a democrat, approved that the aspirants should go for a contest at a primary election, which was conducted by the party and was won convincingly by Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.
“Since 1999, the PDP has been on ground in Delta and had continued to win elections and govern the state. It is the only political party in the state that does not take the people for granted.
“The PDP is the only party that campaigns for votes during any election, others don’t. Currently, the party is campaigning simultaneously in the three senatorial districts in the state, meeting the people and soliciting their support and votes.
“The people are very sensitive, if you want their votes and you don’t go to talk to them, how would they vote for you? No other party in the state campaigns, yet they want to win election,” he said.
Ifeajika said that superlative performance of Governor Okowa in the state, which had been widely acknowledged across the country and beyond, was sufficient to guarantee PDP re-election in the state.
According to him, Deltans are very happy with Governor Okowa’s performance in the state and cannot wait to express their appreciation to him and the PDP with their votes.