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Pensioners cry to Gov. Ajimobi, lament hunger

By News Express on 25/06/2015

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No fewer than 500 members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Oyo State Chapter, on Wednesday protested the non-payment of their pension arrears by the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest followed the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given by the pensioners to the state during which the state failed to meet up with their eight-point demand.

NAN reports that the pensioners matched from their office to the Agodi Secretariat in Ibadan, calling on Governor Abiola Ajimobi to pay them.

The pensioners carried placards with various inscriptions as “Ajimobi, Pay Us Our Pension Arrears”, “Ajimobi, We Are Hungry”, and “Oyo Pensioners Are Starving”.

The pensioners were demanding for an immediate payment of the February to June, 2015 pension arrears, payment of gratuity and increased funding to the state Ministry of Establishment to enhance the payment of their gratuities.

The other demands include: the payment of arrears of six per cent pension increase, the immediate re-instatement of pensioners whose names were missing from the payroll.

They were also demanding for the implementation of new pension scheme for workers forcefully retired in 2002.

Speaking on the issue, the Chairman of the pensioners, Alhaji Ganiyu Azeez, who was represented by his vice, Mr. Gbade Akande, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.

“Only a bail-out by the Federal Government and concerted effort by the state government to improve on its IGR can alleviate our sufferings,” Azeez said.

He, however, said that in an event where presidential intervention might not immediately solve the crisis, the governor should put in motion modalities by which the arrears would be fixed.

The union leader reiterated the need for monthly payment of the pensioners.

On the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by NLC, TUC and the state government regarding the pensioners’ welfare, the NUP chairman said that it was unacceptable to his members.

Azeez described the document as a “poisoned chalice,” saying that by the document, his members would be given 50 per cent of their pension.

On the other hand, it would mean 50 per cent of the pensioners being paid their pension in June, while the remaining 50 per cent would be paid in July 2015, he said.

“The interpretation of the document is that for a pensioners earning N2,000 per month, he has N6,000 to collect by the end of the year instead of the N24,000 he earns if he were paid a full year pension,” he said. (NAN)

•Photo shows protesting pensioners.

Source News Express

Posted 25/06/2015 05:39:54 AM





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