Senior citizens’ threaten revolt over N25b gratuities, pension arrears

Senior citizens’ threaten revolt over N25b gratuities, pension arrears

‘ Benue State Pensioners have threatened to embark on indefinite protest and occupy the Streets over the non-payment of pensions and gratuities arrears by the government. The Pensioners also known as Senior Citizens under the aegis of concern Pensioners in Makurdi, said they will hit the ground running on Wednesday September 4, 2019. The estimated

Benue State Pensioners have threatened to embark on indefinite protest and occupy the Streets over the non-payment of pensions and gratuities arrears by the government.

FILE COPY: NIGERIAN PENSIONERS IN A SIT OUT

The Pensioners also known as Senior Citizens under the aegis of concern Pensioners in Makurdi, said they will hit the ground running on Wednesday September 4, 2019.

The estimated the debt profile owed the retirees from the Local and State Government to the tune of N25 billion.

Although, the State government however did not deny or agree with the amount, but the group, in a letter informed the embattled State Governor Samuel Ortom about the planned protest.

The Pensioners stated that they were being owed 25 months pension arrears.

Neither the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Terver Akase nor the State Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ngunan Addingi is yet to confirm or refute the claims.

But the Pensioners in the letter signed by Peter Kyado, Chairman, and the Assistant Secretary of the group, James Mac-Mtsor, drew the attention of the Governor to two previous letters written to the government on the issue.

The letters are CP/NUP/BN/Vol.2, dated 22nd May 2019 and CP/NUP/BN/VoI.2 dated 24th July, 2019, Daily Independent Newspaper reports.

BENUE STATE GOVERNOR, SAMUEL ORTOM

The group explained that all entreaties to the government to reach an amicable solution to the problem in the past has failed.

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According to them, “Despite these two letters mentioned above, and all peaceful efforts made by Pensioners to prevail on the state government to pay our pension and gratuity, have all proved abortive.

“The situation is rather deteriorating as the government has extended its segmentation payment at the LG level of the state, thereby instituting the ‘divide and rule’ system and disunity amongst Pensioners.

“In the light of the foregoing, the Pensioners, both at the state and LG have decided to embark on an indefinite peaceful protest across the state with effect from 4th September 2019 until our demands are met.

“Our demands are the immediate payment of all our outstanding pension arrears to both the state and LG Pensioners; subsequently, the monthly pension to both the State and LG Pensioners should be paid as and when due”.

Other demands are the “monthly release of N1 billion (One billion naira only) for the payment of the gratuities till all the outstanding gratuities are settled as well as the release of the 15% of the statutory allocation to the LGAs for pension payment at the LG levels”.

While they prayed the Governor to “accept the assurances of our best regards”, the Pensioners hoped Governor Ortom would give a listening ear to their demands “by approving and directing the payment as soon as possible.” 

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