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Pensioners protest non-payment of pensions and gratuities, accuse Jonathan of diverting funds

By News Express on 08/05/2015

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Scores of pensioners who retired from the federal civil service trooped to the streets of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital yesterday, in protest of the non-payment of their pensions and gratuities by the National Pension Commission (NPC).

The protesters, under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Federal Contributory Pension Retirees Sector, stormed the Iwe Irohin House, headquarters of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Oke -Ilewo, Abeokuta with placards bearing various inscriptions.

They said that they have not been paid in the last ten months and accused President Goodluck Jonathan of diverting their pensions and gratuities to fund his failed re-electioneering campaign.

Some of their placards read: “Retirees are dying, FG come to our aid”, “PENCOM is suffering”, “FG owing 10 months of pension”, “Gratuities not paid”, “N4.6trn has been used for campaign, Abi na lie?”, “GMB save our souls from PENCOM & PFAs injustice".

National Chairman of the pensioners union, Elder Samuel Kojusola, who spoke on behalf of his members, said the retirees suspected that the fund meant for the settlement of their pension and gratuity by PENCOM had been used for the 2015 electioneering campaign.

He said: “It is very disheartening to confirm that workers who retired under the Contributory Pension Scheme since August 2014 till date all over the country are yet to have their lump sum or monthly payment settled by National Pension Commission, PENCOM.

“What do they want the retirees to be eating after serving Federal Government of Nigeria for 35 years meritoriously? We suspect that our money in the kitty of PENCOM has been used for 2015 electioneering campaign.”

The pensioners also complained that they were being paid meager amount as pension either as monthly withdrawal or annuity.

Said Kojusola: “Contributory pensioners receive only 20 to 25 per cent of their last pay as monthly pension, while a pensioner in the old pension scheme receives 80 per cent of his last pay as monthly pension.

“Pension Reform Act 2004, Section 4 (c) stipulates that retirees will have not less than 50 per cent of their last pay as monthly pension as at the date of their retirement.

“None of the retirees enjoy this amount since the inception of the act till date. Unfortunately, the portion has been expunged from the New Pension Reform Act 2014. What have we done to deserve this ugly treatment? This is a leeway to PFAs to milk us perpetually.”

Adapted from National Mirror. Photo shows protesting pensioners.

Source News Express

Posted 08/05/2015 04:13:34 AM

 

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