Pensioners in Edo protest against non-payment of arrears, dissolution of board
Hundreds of pensioners defied early morning rains to march through the streets of Benin City protesting several months of arrears of pensions not paid.The pensioners, armed with placards of various inscriptions, protested to the Edo Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Paulin Noruwa who led the protesters said their plight has been made worse because of the dissolution of the Edo state pension board as he lamented that they do not know where to go to process their documents.
While commending the state government for regular payment of their members who have been captured in the payment process, he said there are many that were yet to be captured for payment just as he said all increment promised them as initiated by the Federal Government has not been implemented by the Edo state government.He lamented their counterparts in the local government were also suffering the same fate.
He said these pensioners comprised of public servants who retired since 2011, denied the claim by the state government that it does not owe any state retirees.The pensioners also alleged that the state government has refused to commence payment of pension with effect from the date of retirement as stipulated in Civil Service Pension Law.
He said the government refusal to adhere to this pension law have left a backlog of arrears owed to pensioners in Edo.He noted that their problem was been further compounded with the dissolution of the state Pension Board.
“At the moment, public servants retiring since the dissolution of the board are again stranded due to government delay in processing their retirement papers, over six months after their. Names have been removed from civil servant payroll.
“Rather than creating avenue for retirees to process their pension papers, government has left this category of senior citizens in limbo,” he stated.In his response, the Chairman of the NUJ, Edo council, Sir Roland Osakue said the union share in their pains and challenges.He appealed to them to remain peaceful in their protest, promising that members of the union will use their various media outfit to let the authority know their plight.