Restore full payment of pension after verification exercise, Abia pensioners beg Otti
. Hail his developmental strides
By Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has pleaded with Gov. Alex Otti to restore full payment of pension to Abia pensioners after the on-going verification exercise of workers and pensioners.
This is as the senior citizens gave their full support for the exercise which they said would help to eliminate ‘the ghost Workers/Pensioners syndrome now rife in Abia State that seriously bloats the State wage bill.”
NUP in a communique after its State Executive Council meeting in Umuahia, commended Gov. Alex Otti-led administration for showing care for the welfare and plights of pensioners in the state unlike the previous administration characterised by arrears and half payment of pension.
While endorsing the on-going verification exercise, NUP pleaded for extension of time and adequate provisions to capture the bedridden pensioners and those in the diaspora, as well as those who retired from Parastatals like the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia, BCA: and Health Management Board.
The communique was jointly signed by the NUP Chairman, Elder Chukwuebuka Irondi; and Secretary Uma Kalu respectively.
NUP while commending the Governor for his consistency in payment of salaries and pensions since he took over power, however, reminded him of his earlier promise to wipe off all pension arrears before the end of December.
This is as the union pleaded with the Governor to direct that pension be paid on the 28th of every month along with salaries; and that the delays in remittance of pensioners’ check- off to the union be stopped.
NUP commended the various developmental strides of the Governor including the award of various road contracts in keeping with his campaign promises.
It read in part:”The Council in Session notes with joy, Governor Otti’s giant strides in the area of Road Rehabilitation/Construction, Renovation of dilapidated health facilities, Security, Civil Service Reforms and Environmental Sanitation within his five months in office which are in line with his campaign slogan, “WEEP NO MORE; HELP HAS COME; AT LAST”.
“The Council-in-Session expresses appreciation for the Executive Governor’s special interest in the welfare of Abla Pensioners as expressed in the regular payment of pensions for the months of June, July, August, September and October, 2023 to both State Government and Local Government retirees in the State. However, the Council notes that the rate of pension payment for those months was 50% of the full pensions. The Council also requests that pensions should be paid on the 28” of every month along with salaries in accordance with the State Govemor’s promise and pronouncement.
“The Council seriously frowns at the unacceptable delay of the State Account General’s Office in the release of check-off dues to the Nigeria Union of Pensioners. The Council boldly points out that all check off dues are statutorily part and parcel of the pension and should be released along with the payment of pensions. The NUP therefore pleads with the Pensioner friendly Governor, His Excellency Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, to kindly advise the Officers concerned to correct the observed anomaly.
“The Council pleads that more efforts should be made to capture all genuine Pensioners, especially those now bed ridden and those in the diaspora.
“The Council also observes that Pensioners of some parastatals like the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA) and the Abia state University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) have not been verified at all. These Pensioners should be given the needed attention soonest.
“The council is confident that on the successful completion of the verification exercise, steps would be taken by the State Government to restore full payment of pensions to genuine Pensioners, followed by the process of clearing of the huge arrears of pensions and gratuities to deserving Pensioners.”