Cross River state government has explained that no verified pensioner in the state or local government service is owed pension.
Speaking with some local government retirees who claimed to be owed months of pension, the state commissioner for local government affairs, Mrs Stella Odey promised that every genuine pensioner will be paid once they undergo screening and are captured in the payroll.
She said the periodic screening exercise became imperative following the discovery of a high number of ghost pensioners in the payroll.
According to her, no verified pensioner is owed a dime by the state government.
She urged them to cooperate with government by submitting themselves for screening in order to be captured for payment.
Mrs Odey disclosed that staff now manning the pension board were directly drawn from the local governments as demanded by the pensioners “so that they can take adequate care of their files and I have conceded. We have done that.”
The Commissioner stated that governor Ben Ayade holds pensioners dearly to his heart and does not want them to suffer hence the prompt payment of those that have been verified.
“The Governor is so passionate about pensioners, we have not owed their pension for one day. We have not owed any pensioner, as I speak to you.
“If you have not been screened, then there is no way you can be paid. That is why we say come and do screening, so that we can capture you as a pensioner.
“Do you know that government has been paying so many ghost pensioners? That is why we are doing screening”, she said