Kogi NLC raises alarm over extortion of retirees by pension desk officers
The Kogi state council of Nigeria Labour Congress has accused desk officers in charge of pension matters in the 21 local government areas of extorting pensioners.The State Chairman of NLC, Onuh Edoka warned desk officers across the Local Government Areas to stop extorting money and seeking any other forms of gratification before processing documents of local government workers.
According to Edoka: “It has come to the notice of the NLC in the State that officers saddled with the responsibility of handling the retirement documents of Local Government staff are demanding outrageous sums of money before attending to such officers.”
The State NLC chairman noted that such inhuman and fraudulent practice was totally unacceptable saying that it also negates the rules and regulation of the Civil Service.
He condemned the actions of those engaging in the criminal act, describing it as a great injustice, which compounds the pains and agony of retiring officers who have been made to stay for several months upon retirement without assessing their monthly pension and gratuity.
“We have concluded plans to interface with relevant stakeholders in the Local Government administration in the State with a view to fishing out those perpetuating the dubious act against their fellow civil servants.“NLC also gathered that the suspected desk officers are collecting within the range of N20, 000 to N50, 000 from retirees.”
“We have gone to enlighten some of this officers that these people are their colleagues. Workers in Kogi State should know what all of us are facing currently. Salaries are not too regular and where salaries are paid, it is paid in low percentage of about 25 percent to Teachers and even Local Government workers and you are asking your colleague to go and bring three times what he is earning as percentage salaries, it is inhuman.
“How do they now have justification to blame other persons in government that their policies are draconian? When even government has not given such policies and you are already implementing it against your colleague. This is total wickedness and should be condemned.
“Workers that are due for retirement as well as those whose documents were processed should stop giving money when demanded. They should report such Desk Officers and their collaborator to the NLC and other appropriate agencies of government for necessary action.
“In our recent emergency meeting with Labour leaders in Kogi State on this matter, we ask the Nigeria Union of Pensioners to go back and warn the unions involved and to make sure that they don’t get their members entangled in such as act,” the NLC Chairman added.
Edoka indicated that the organized labour in the State is doing its best to check and prevent any form of infraction against workers, advising members of the Union to compliment efforts of labour by avoiding untoward behaviours.