Local Government Pensioners in Nasarawa State have protested over the non-payment of their entitlements in percentages and non-payment of gratuities by the local government chairmen.
The pensioners from 13 local government areas of the state on Tuesday gathered at their office in Lafia, the state capital carrying placards with several inscriptions conveying their grievances.
Their spokesperson, Adokwe Ladan, told journalists that they would not accept the purported plan by the chairmen to pay them March and April pensions benefits in percentages.
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“The local government chairmen are treating us badly, so we felt we should come out to express our grievances, in particular, the issue of percentage payment in addition to non-payment of gratuities for more than ten years.
“Our demand is that we have not received our March and April pensions. Surprisingly, the chairmen are now saying that they will pay us less than 50 per cent March pensions.
“We say no to this. This cannot work! We are already paid in arrears so why the percentage payment? We can appreciate the fact that the economy is down but that does not mean we should be treated anyhow,” Ladan said.
One of the pensioners, Cecilia Ajegena said she retired six years ago and has not being paid both her pension and gratuity.
“Government has not paid me my pension neither have they paid me any gratuity since we retired six years ago. I served this nation through the local government system, what offence have I committed that government cannot respect me today?
“I am supposed to be in an eye clinic to take care of my eye but I don’t have my pension paid and not only that, gratuity is still hanging there.
“Instead of them to appreciate it, they say, they want to slash the money by 50 per cent. Which money will I use to feed my children and take care of myself,? she questioned.
The Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Emmanuel Akabe, while responding to the pensioners alongside the Secretary of the State Government, Aliyu Tijjani, and other cabinet members promised swift government intervention.
“I have come here to today to speak on behalf of the governor of Nasarawa state. I would want you to mandate, your executive members, I will ask the local government chairmen, their ALGON chairman to seat with your executive today and let ALGON tell us why they have not been paying and what plans they have to pay,” he said.
He promised that the meeting between the Local government officials and representative of the pensioners would hold before the end of the day.