Economy

Pensioners Go Spiritual over Unpaid Entitlements  

Owing to the prolonged delay in the payment of  gratuities and pension arrears in Ekiti State, pensioners in the state again went on their knees to seek divine intervention.

This development according to the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Ekiti State, Mr. Joel Akinola is necessary after all physical strategies to get their demands from government had failed.

He said “I wish to address through you Gentlemen of the Press, the good people of Ekiti State in particular and Nigeria in general on the issue of the pains to which Pensioners have been subjected in Ekiti State purely because of the failure of the State Government to discharge her obligation to them as and when due.

“We are crying and justifiably so in view of our agonies, our sufferings and an unprecedented assault on the psyches of our members in Ekiti State. Our pride as Senior Citizens who have faithfully, labouriously and dutifully served this Nation is being rubbished daily.

“Pensioners are being portrayed as failures in their communities, and worst of all and they are being accelerated to their graves in no small numbers. Many are languishing in their homes in debilitated conditions.

“Many have been abandoned by children and families who had exhausted their financial resources on them. These abandoned Pensioners are being owed millions of Naira by way of unpaid arrears of Pensions and Gratuities!!!

“Part of the first Stanza of our National Anthem says “the Labour of our Heroes shall not be in vain”. Pensioners’ labour is now being made to be in vain by the failure of Governments and the Citizenry to Comprehend the Seriousness of their plight.

Mr Akinola advised government to create a separate ministry to oversee issues relating to pensioners, harmonize pension payment for all retirees and implement the various  increment approved for Pensioners in Nigeria since 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2019 by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission

Presiding over the prayer, Pastor Ayodele Ojo of the Gospel  Faith Mission and the Chief Iman of the Ansar-ud- deen Central Mosque Ado Ekiti, Alhaji Abdulahi Abdulmutalib said it was against principle of God to subject aged persons to hardship urging Ekiti Government to see to their needs.

Statistics by the pensioners show that, Ekiti Government was owing over thirty five billion naira which comprises  nine years of unpaid gratuity, three months pension arrears for state pensioners and seven months for local government.

Kayode Babatuyi

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