Unpaid gratuities: Rivers pensioners threaten protest
Pensioners in Rivers State have threatened a mass protest over what they term the failure of the state government to look into their welfare, despite repeated efforts to get the attention of the government.
Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners in Rivers State, Collins Nwankwo, handed down the threat during the South-South Zonal meeting of the union held in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Nwankwo said the state government was insensitive to the plight of its members, saying the issue of payment of gratuities, initial pension arrears, and death benefits have not been attended to despite various pleas by the union.
Nwankwo said, “It is very pathetic that the usual payment of gratuities, pension arrears, and death benefits which hitherto were things of joy, have become sources of punishment to our living pensioners and the survivors of the deceased ones.
“Since the inception of the present administration in 2015, no dime has been paid in this direction and all efforts towards getting our government to consider the need to address them are always not admitted.”
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Rivers State Pensions Board, Samuel Ijeoma, has said the government will continue to give premium to pensioners’ welfare as senior citizens of the state, noting that the present administration was not owing pensioners.
Ijeoma, who was represented at the meeting, said the Nyesom Wike-led administration will look into the ssue of their gratuities increases and gratuities and pension arrears.
“It was the reason the government emphasised on the recent biometrics to ascertain the actual number of pensioners in the state,” the official stated. Punch