Retirees flay Delta harsh policies on pensioners
Retirees in Delta State have flayed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s alleged strident policy towards pensioners in the state. They also alleged inhuman treatment meted out to them by the Okowa administration, adding the governor’s actions towards retirees had not been encouraging.
Spokesman for the Association of Retirees, Peter Ezeobi described the situation where retirees have to wait for some years before their gratuities and pensions are paid as awful and annoying, adding: “Okowa’s reign typifies a period when elder statesmen women are subjected to unnecessary poverty, untold hardship.”
He said that retirees who deserve care and honour are currently treated with scorn as they have become psychologically debased and rejected in the state.Noting that over the years retirees have suffered untold hardship in the state, Mr. Ezeobi however called on the state government to ensure a change with a view to taking care of retired persons in the state. According to him, “How can somebody work for 30 years and not paid his/her retirement? It is wickedness, many of our colleagues have died of hunger, and we appeal to Governor Okowa to ensure prompt payment of our pensions”.
But in a swift reaction, the special adviser to the Governor on Labour Relations, Mike Okene described the allegations as frivolous and untrue, saying that the governor in spite of the paucity of funds has been up to date in payment of retirees.
Okowa said the state government currently spends about N1 billion monthly on pensions.Reacting to the allegations of neglect by the senior citizens, Okowa said at Ogwashi-Uku in a town hall meeting with the people of Aniocha South local council that his administration spends over N300 million monthly to settle pensioners in the old pension scheme.
“The government spends another N300 million monthly to pay pensions of retired civil servants who were on the contributory pension scheme for the sum of over N1 billion every month,” he said.
He added that on assumption of office two years ago, the government owed pensioners over N30 billion but have been paying and has reduced the amount significantly.