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2013 Budget: Senate Wants Allocation For Military Pension Board Upped

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ABUJA, November 26, (THEWILL) - The Senate Committee on Establishment has decried the allocation of N199.343 million in the 2013 budget for the military pension board saying it is meager and insufficient.

Consequently, the senators warned the executive against shoddy handling of military pensioners. They said their military expertise could become ready tools for causing security crisis in the country.

In the same vein, the Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, has advised the National Assembly to assess the performance of the 2013 budget based on the scorecard of President Jonathan's assessment performance index for ministers.

The Minister stated this when he defended his ministry’s 2013 budget before the Senate Committee on National Planning and Poverty Alleviation.

However, the Senate Committee Chairman on Establishment, Senator Aloysius Etok, while speaking at the 2013 budget defense of the board, vowed that the committee would do all it takes to ensure the upward review of the meager sum. He also promised to ensure that pensioners get the 53 percent increment on pensions.

He further lamented that only 47 percent of the capital vote for the 2012 budget was implemented against the 80 percent of recurrent expenditure.

According to him, those who are experts in the handling of arms and ammunitions should not be allowed to resort to the use of weapons as means of livelihood.

Recalling his experience at the hands of former security operatives turned criminals he said “I once had that experience in the hands of armed robbers who told me they were ex-service men. The way they handled the guns showed that they were professionals. So in my own opinion, it will not augur well for the country to allow our retired servicemen to resort to such kind of things because they have no other source of income,” he said.

Etok said the committee would assist the board to obtain the sum of N10 billion against the sum of N15 billion being sort by the board for the construction of its permanent office.