Delta retirees shut down Asaba over alleged N40b unpaid pensions
Government, councils uncover 26, 000 non-indigene workers
Retirees of the Delta State Civil Service under the auspices of Retired Civil Servants Contributory Pension Scheme, yesterday staged a protest in Asaba over alleged N40b unpaid contributory pensions fund.
The retirees, who shut down business and other activities in the capital city, marched to the state House of Assembly, Government House and other parts of Asaba, as they chided the state government for its alleged nonchalant disposition to their plight.
The pensioners were clad in Black and carried placards with the inscriptions: “Okowa Pay Us Our Money,” “Where Is The Bailout Fund?” “What Was It Used For?” “Many Of Our Members Have Died,” “We Are Tired Of Stories,” “Implement The Harmonization or Quit Government House.”
It was gathered that the pensioners had attempted to see Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over the unpaid pension of over five years, but they met a brick wall when security men prevented them entry at the main gate.
But in a swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, said the allegation was not true, adding that it was unfortunate that the pensioners resorted to hate speeches and absurd behaviour over their demand.
He, however, assured that government was looking into the matter with a view to resolving it, adding that Okowa would hold a meeting with them within one week.
One of the retirees, Mrs. Dumebi Opene who spoke to our reporter around Inter-Bau, said: “Since 2008 our pensions and retirement have not been paid. Okowa keeps telling us stories. Just imagine a level 14 officer on retirement was only paid N865, 000 as her gratuity.
“We have lost 13 of our members, many are sick, no money to treat the sickness. Several meetings with the governor failed to yield the desired results.
“When the bailout fund was released, we thought Okowa would have paid us sufficiently, instead he released only N300 million out of N40 billion. This is wickedness.”
Meanwhile, tension over infiltration of non-indigenes from Anambra and Imo states into Delta State Civil Service and the local government councils, has continued to build up.
The Guardian learnt that no fewer than 26, 000 non-indigenes have so far been uncovered among the 60, 000 strong workforce in the state civil service.
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