Imo state retirees, under the aegis of Nigerian Pensions Union (NPU), yesterday lamented over 80 months pension arrears owed members by the state government, Concise News reports.
Livinus Ashiegbu, secretary of the State Chapter of the NPU revealed that data record obtained by them indicated that over 100 of their members had died without receiving several months arrears of their pensions largely owed by the immediate past administration in the state.
According to him, retirees of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE) are owed over 80 months.
He alleged that N26 billion bail-out fund, which was earmarked for payment of their pensions, was misused by the immediate past administration, regretting that over two months into the present administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha, they were still suffering without any payment.
Meanwhile, Ihedioha has restated the readiness of his administration to commence payment of pensions in the state within the shortest period of time.
He enjoined the pensioners to exercise a little more patience with the government to address the issue.
The governor, who gave the assurance while on inspection of the ongoing capturing of the over 29,000 pensioners’ files and data at the Government House yesterday, said: “We did promise our pensioners that we are going to pay them but it is important that we verify those we are going to pay.”
In a related vein, son of a late pensioner in Cross River State, Joseph Odey, yesterday staged a one-man protest in Calabar demanding the payment of his father’s benefits and gratuity by the state government.
Odey, who positioned himself strategically opposite the governor’s office with a placard reading, “Your Excellency, please pay gratuity, my family is distressed,” insisted that his father’s gratuity should be paid otherwise the protest would continue on daily basis.
He said: “My father died four years ago as a school principal. I am in the governor’s office today to protest non-payment of my late father’s benefits and gratuity after 32 years of service to the state.”