The Federal Government will spend the sum of N292bn to pay pensions and gratuities for military personnel, police, Department of State Services, Customs, Nigerian Intelligence Agency, prisons and others.
This is out of the total N854.8bn that the Federal Government allocated to pensions, gratuities and benefits for retirees in the 2023 budget.
The President, Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Ret), signed the N21.83 trillion 2023 budget along with the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill in Abuja on Tuesday.
Speaking at the signing of his regime’s eighth and final annual budget, the president said total spending of N21.83 billion represented an increase of N1.32 billion over the initial executive proposal for total spending of N20.51 billion.
According to the approved budget for 2023, pensions and bonuses for the military will gobble up a total of 244.6 billion naira; the police will get N8.9bn; Customs, N10.1bn; DSS, N18.5bn; and the NIA, N10.5bn.
Of the N244, 563,112,535 allocated to the military, N149bn will go to pensions, expected retirees will get N36.6bn, while death benefits for the military total N21.7bn, among others.
Also included were tip arrears between January and December 2019 and 2021, which amounted to N3.1bn; pension arrears over the same time period were N2 billion, while death benefit arrears also amounted to N2.1 billion.
Of the 8,865,447,818 naira set aside for the police, police officers’ pensions will absorb 8,710 million naira, while the remainder will go towards the running costs of the pensions.
Joint Customs, Immigration and Corrections service agencies netted a total of N10,071,632,237. Of the total sum, N9.8bn will be spent on pensions and N108m on tips and death benefits.
The DSS was allocated a total sum of N18,476,981,906, with pensions, including arrears, in the amount of N12bn, tip, N1.6bn; death benefits, N606m, and areas in pensions and gratuities amounting to more than N4.1bn.
The Nigerian Intelligence Agency will get N10,499,436,023, of which pensions/dependants’ benefits will take N6.96bn. The federal government set aside Naira 300 million and Naira 3.2 billion for the running costs of the Long Service Severance Package/Bonus Pensions, respectively.
The Military Pensions Board had begun paying the security disability benefit owed to eligible military retirees or to family members of deceased military officers.
According to the board, more than 90,000 military retirees who retired before 2017 were originally not among those who would benefit from the allowance.
The president, during the inauguration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem 2023 and Appeal Fund in 2022, said that he had approved N134.7bn for the payment of the allowance to all military veterans.
Reinforcing this in a statement, the Chairman of the Military Pensions Board, Rear Admiral Saburi Lawal, said the board had started the payment after an agreement was reached with the retirees.
The statement read in part: “The Military Pensions Board wishes to inform our esteemed military retirees and the general public that the board has begun paying the first and second tranche (i.e., for the first and second quarters of 2023) of the sda. to eligible retired military/next-of-kin of deceased military personnel.
“The beneficiaries of these payments are the military retirees from the MPB database who retired before November 9, 2017, the deceased retired military who were alive when the MAFA was signed on November 9, 2017, and non-pensionable retirees. who retired before November 9, 2017, but only tips were paid.”