The new chairman of the Military Pensions Board (MPB), AVM Paul Irumheson, on Monday, took over command of the board with a promise to improve on the recent progress made by his predecessor.
Mr Irumheson took over from Rear Adm. Sabiru Lawal, whose tenure came to an end recently.
He also promised to operate an opened-door policy, urging retirees and prisoners to always feel free to come forward with whatever concerns they might have.
He pledged to consolidate on the successes made by the board and sustain timely payment of pension and gratuity of retirees.
He commended his predecessor on his achievements as the chairman of the board in the area of infrastructure and welfare of personnel and gave an assurance of sustaining and improving on them.
Earlier, the outgone chairman, Rear Adm. Lawal, said the board had improved significantly from what it was when he assumed office as the chairman of the MPB on Sept. 18, 2020.
He said the retirees/pensioners could attest to the promptness with which their gratuities and pensions were paid during his tenure, adding that pleasant working environment and policies had also been put in place for the improved wellbeing of staff.
He urged the staff to see their duty to retirees and pensioners as a call to serve, as someday they too would retire and become pensioners.
“In view of the fact that all of us will at one time or the other find ourselves on the payroll of the MPB, whether you are an officer or a soldier, please don’t do to the retirees and their NOKs, what you won’t want to be done to you,” he said.
Mr Lawal urged his successor to key into the already established processes for the payment of gratuities, death benefits and monthly pensions that had worked so efficiently for the board.
He, however, expressed regret that his intention of conducting an electronic verification exercise of retirees could not be actualised as a result of the challenges faced by the IT company contracted to execute and midwife the project.
He added that the firm had gone back to the drawing board with assurances that it would be ready for the exercise soon, and not later than the first quarter of 2024.
Mr Lawal, therefore, implored the new chairman to follow up and ensure the exercise was conducted as planned.