The neglect and insensitivity of the Abia State government towards its pensioners was yesterday confirmed by the absence of the governor or his representative at the 2018 Pensioners’ Day.
The event which held at the Pensioners’ House (under construction) at Ogwurube Layout was not attended by any government official. One of the pensioners slumped but was quickly revived by his colleagues using the programme booklet as hand fans.
Addressing the pensioners, Chairman of the Abia State Council, Comrade Chukwuma Udensi, explained that the members were adorned in black attire to show their dismay with the treatment meted to them by the state government.
“Let me quickly explain that the black attire worn by delegates to this function signified the mourning over unusual neglect of pensioners by government and death of many of our colleagues as a result of sickness, frustration, hunger and lack of medicare.”
He explained that after series of meeting with the governor, he ended up with mouth-watering promises on clearance of arrears of pensions whose implementation is yet to begin.
Udensi listed huge arrears of unpaid pensions and gratuities owed retirees in the state as among the constraints to the completion of the secretariat, lamenting the complicity of the State House of Assembly and the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), which he said was “playing the Ostrich, forgetting that a worker today will obviously become a pensioner tomorrow.”
The chairman called on the state government to begin to pay them on monthly basis from the federal accounts allocation and set up a committee to work out the modalities for implementing the various percentage awards to pensioners by the Federal Government.
Chairman of the occasion and traditional ruler of Nise Nvosi, Professor B. O. Dike, said after years of selfless service to the government the pensioners deserved to be given their due pension and gratuity, especially because some of them did not achieve much within the years of service.
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