Pensioners in Plateau State on Monday protested at the Plateau state Secretariat over non-payment of pension and gratuity amounting to N4 billion.
Members of the Union of Nigeria Pensioners, Plateau State chapter peacefully demonstrated their unpaid entitlements to the state secretariat in Jos.
The leader of the union, Sunday Danladi, said the unpaid pension and gratuity of members of has accumulated to about N4 billion.
He explained that most workers who retired two years ago have not even been documented for payment of their pensions.
The pensioners compared themselves to their counterparts in other states of the federation.
“At the time we were receiving N2,000, Bauchi was N3,000 but today, Bauchi pensioners receive N12,780 minimum monthly pension, while we are still on N5,140 which is not even paid as and when due. It’s now six months that we’ve been paid pension,” Mr. Danladi said.
He added that “Plateau State government is not taking care of pensioners at all. We have for months been writing letters on harmonization, review of pension and so on, but to no avail.”
Some of the placards carried by the protesting pensioners read: “We can’t pay our children’s school fees”, “The aged are suffering, treat them with kindness. Many have died. Many more are dying. Pay our pension.”
The leader of the group said the executives of the Union held a meeting in Jos last week, and arrived at a decision to stage the protest rally Monday February 9 till Thursday, February 12. He said the demonstration rallies will continue every Monday and Thursday each week, till the state government pays the outstanding debt.
Mr. Danladi recalled that the Plateau State Government last reviewed minimum monthly payment of pensions from N2, 000 to N5,140 10 when Joshua Dariye was governor of the state.
Reacting to the development, the Head of Civil Service in the state, Ezekiel Dalyop, in an interview, appealed to the pensioners to be patient because government is aware of their plight.
Mr. Ezekiel said they would soon be paid one month of the arrears and requested that the pensioners do not to embark on further street protest over their entitlements considering their age and contributions to the society.