The cries of pensioners all over the country is the same, government pay us our pension.
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has given the Kogi State Government 14 days to withdraw all politicians appointed into the State Pension Board.
The Chairman of the Union, Onu Abdullahi, gave the ultimatum on Wednesday in Lokoja while briefing newsmen.
He described the appointments and the recent inauguration of the board by the government as unconstitutional and a flagrant disregard for the rule of law.
“The Pension Reform Law 2007 provides that anybody that will be appointed to head the board must be a serving or retired civil servant not below the level of permanent secretary,” he said.
Mr. Abdullahi described the government’s action as a “betrayal of trust,” saying it negated all decisions and agreement reached at a meeting with Governor Idris Wada on December 27, 2012.
“We met with the governor and agreed to harmonise pension in the state, offset the backlog of gratuity and pension, review pension and also appoint either serving or retired civil servants to the board.
“The governor did not fulfill all these but went ahead to appoint politicians into the board.
“We protested against the appointment and the governor promised to look into it, only for him to inaugurate the same board. We went to court to seek injunction to stop the inauguration and the government was served but it still went ahead to inaugurate the board.
“We are giving the government a 14-day ultimatum to reverse its decision or we will move members out to protest,” the union leader said.
The chairman said the union would not fold its arms and allow politicians to hijack the board for their selfish interest, stressing that pension management in the state has always been associated with fraud.
Mr. Abdullahi also accused the government of insensitivity to the plight of members of the union.
He said that Kogi is the only state in the country where retirees receive as low as N2, 600 as monthly pension.
He added that pensioners in the state are still being owed N8.9 billion as arrears of pension and gratuity.