South East retirees lament unpaid gratuities, pensions
Pensioners in the South East geo-political zone that comprise Abia, Enugu, Imo, and Ebonyi states have lamented several months of unpaid pensions and gratuities.
The pensioners explained that except for Anambra that has paid pension up to August 2016, other South East states have yet to pay both pension and gratuities for onwards of 15 years.
They hinted that the situation is worse in Imo State where government had not paid retirees’ gratuities since 1998 as well as outstanding pension arrears since the second tenure of Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Christian Udensi, South-eastern zonal Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), who revealed this in Enugu, called on the Federal Government to look into the plight of pensioners in the zone with a view to addressing them.
Flanked by state Chairmen of the NUP in the five southeast states and other officials, he said: “Governors of the South-East have extended to outright refusal to pay pensioners until the end of their tenure. They
even divert the monies sent by the federal government for the payment of retirement benefits, thereby putting us into much suffering, slavery and penury”.
Given a breakdown of the situation of pensions in the zone, he stated that Imo state remained the “worst in the zone”, whereby from former administration of Udenwa where no pensions were owed to Ohakim, who handed
over “two months arrears to Okorocha, the pensioners have not received their pensions since the incumbent administration was re-elected last year”.
His words: “Civil servants in Imo are owed between 17 to 20 months, local government pensioners 18 to 21 months, retired Primary school teachers 27 to 30 months, Alvan Ikoku College of Education 67 to 72 months.
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