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Board seeks improved budgets for military pensions, deaths’ benefits

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Board seeks improved budgets for military pensions, deaths' benefits

Saburi Lawal

Military Pension Board, MPB, has appealed to the Senate for increased budgetary allocations to enable it meet payment of pensions and death benefits of the Nigerian Armed Forces personnel.

Chairman of the Board, Commodore Saburi Lawal stated this in Abuja on Wednesday when he appeared before Senate Committee on Defence, to defend the MPB 2021 budget

He said: “We apeal to your committee to kindly increase the military pensions board overhead and capital cost allocations to accommodate the raising inflationary trend in the society and to enhance infrastructure development of the board.”

According to him, MPB is charge with the responsibility of administering pensions of military retirees, payment of death benefits to next-of-kins of deceasesd personnels of the Armed Forces of Nigeria through funds allocated to it by the National Assembly.

Lawal said the annual budgetary allocations to the MPB are divided into pension, gratuities, death benefits, allied cost, overhead cost and capital expenditure.

“In 2020, the sum of N270,593,565,984. was appropriated to the board for payment of pension, gratitues, death benefits and payment of outstanding arrears to retired personnels.

“As at date the sum N163,195,174,488 only has been released to the board representing 75 per cent of the appropriated figure,” he stressed.

For 2020 capital budget performance, Lawal said the sum of N187million was appropriated for the MPB.

He said N93,901, 500 representing 50 per cent of the approved capital budget has been released to the board.

“The sum of N96,459,482 was appropriated as overhead cost, while N56 million, representing 58 per cent has been released.

He said the capital and overhead cost allocations for the MPB has been negligible, noting that the amount allocated has been the same figure in the last three years.

“All efforts to ensure that the allocation go up has not yeilded any effort.

“We urge the committee to assist in increasing the allocation as the MPB has hospitals housing complex,road networks to maintain, among other services for the smooth running of the MPB.

For 2021 budget estimates, he said that N216,48,604,822 was proposed to carter for pensions, gratitutues, death benefits and allied matters.

He, however, said that the Budget Office of the Federation recommended to the National Assembly the sum of N183,748,495,159.

This, Lawal said was a short fall of almost N27billion of what the MPB proposed initially for 2021.

“We know what is going on in the North East, there is increased number of casualties, we are now having higher number of our personnels retiring and those with arrears that have been captured on the payroll need to be paid.

“So I am apealing to the distinguished committee to kindly help us grant the actual proposal that we had forwarded, so as to discharge our duties to our fatherland.

For 2021 capital estimates, he said the board proposed N309,151,880, adding that the amount was based on the budget silling allocated to MPB by Ministry of Defence.

He, however, said the amount was too megre to handle the MPB capital expenditure needs ,noting that many of the MPB personnels do not have official accommodations.

For 2021 overhead cost, Lawal said the sum of N96milion was proposed, noting that the figure was grossly inadequate.

In his remarks, chairman of the committee, Senator Aliyu Wammako promised that they would look into the issues raised by the Board.

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Board seeks improved budgets for military pensions, deaths' benefits

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