The Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service has commended the Military Pensions Board (MPB) for its promptness in the payment of pensions and gratuity to retired military personnel as well as timely payment of death benefits to the Next-of-Kins (NOKs) of deceased military personnel which has helped to cushion the pains of losing their loved ones in the line of duty. This commendation was made by the Chairman Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Distinguished Senator Ibrahim Shakarau, during the Committee’s oversight visit to the Headquarters of the MPB in Abuja on 3 June 2021.

Speaking further, Senator Ibrahim Shakaru noted that Nigerians were, indeed, grateful to the leadership of the Board for not only promptly paying pensions and other benefits but also for reorganizing the gratuity and pensions payment system, thus eliminating unnecessary delays which hitherto characterized the system. The reorganization, he noted, had better repositioned the Board and saved Nigerians the embarrassment of seeing military retirees loitering around the streets of Abuja, begging for their entitlements to be paid after serving the country for many years. According to him, the new order is encouraging and would motivate younger Nigerians to serve in the Armed
Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

While presenting a brief on the operational mandate and activities of the Board, the Chairman MPB, Commodore Abayomi Lawal, thanked the Senators for the commendation and for finding time despite their busy legislative schedules to conduct an oversight visit to the MPB. He noted that the visit would further motivate not only him but the entire staff of the MPB to strive to achieve even greater milestones in the administration of military pensions in Nigeria. According to him, the Board will not rest on its oars, but will further build on already recorded achievements so as to better enhance the flawless administration of military pensions in Nigeria.

Speaking further, Commodore Lawal highlighted some of the modest achievements of the Board which include the prompt and regular payment of retirement benefits, computerization and re-organization of gratuity and pensions payment system to eliminate unnecessary delays as well as processing of refunds of contributions made by military personnel to the Contributory Pensions Scheme. Others were the introduction of the NOK Indemnity Form to prevent continuous payment of pension to deceased pensioners, improved synergy with veteran bodies, remodeling and construction of office block, entrance gate, perimeter fence, accommodation blocks and other facilities.

In addition, the Chairman of MPB intimated the Senate Committee members with the decision of the MPB to embarks on electronic verification of military retirees in the country. According to him, ?the decision to introduce the electronic verification exercise was to eliminate the stress, cumbersomeness and difficulties involved in the manual verification exercises, which were formerly used by the Board to verify military pensioners.