Thursday, August 4, 2016

Unpaid Arrears: 2 Retirees Slump As Pensioners Protest In Benue

Benue State Civil Service pensioners on Wednesday staged a protest under the umbrella of Concerned Benue Pensioners in Makurdi, the state capital. benue pensionersAt least two pensioners slumped while protesting non-payment of unpaid entitlements and gratuity which spanned 11 months by the state government.
The pensioner who numbered over 1000, carried placards with inscription such as, ‘this is not the change we voted for’, ‘we cannot feed ourselves any longer, ‘pay us our bailout for 6 months’, ‘ our members are dying, our children are not attending schools, ‘Ortom fulfill your campaign promises’.

In his speech, Chairman, State Pension Elder Peter Kyado lamented that the situation is terrible for the pensioners in the State who suffer neglect and abandonment, decrying that they record five(5) deaths every week. “Pensioners in the state live in penury without their entitlements and benefits being paid for several years. No explanations are forthcoming from the State government, perhaps because we are powerless, fragile and worthless.

We consider this treatment unfortunate, unconstitutional and perhaps irresponsible. “As senior citizens, we gave our best to our state, country and humanity; we deserve respect and timely release of our retirement benefits as contained in the provision of the 1999 Nigeria constitution (as amended) (vide sections 173 and 210) and the Benue State Pensions and Gratuities Edict 1990,” Kyado said.

 He said amongst their demand is the payment of ten(10) months pensions which includes six(6) of November 2014- April 2014 that the bailout failed to address, settlement of outstanding gratuities through appropriate financial instruments such as bonds, treasury bills or bank outright purchase of debts. The acting Secretary to the State Government SSG, Bem Melladu who was booed by the pensioners said the State government has set aside over N400 million from the Budget Support Fund from the Federal Government to pay the state and local government.

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