The retirees allege they were being deliberated short-changed by corrupt staff in the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
Some of retired staff of the 23 research institutes and River Basin Development Authorities across Nigeria have alleged they were short-changed in the payment of their severance packages.
The affected retirees showed up at the Ibadan office of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday to register their grievances.
Numbering about 100, they said they were among the Federal Government workers affected by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo regime’s civil service down-sizing policy.
Mr. Bari Oyelodun, National Co-ordinator of Right-sized Staff of Federal Parastatal Forum, who led the aggrieved ex-staff of the affected institutes, said the government had designated three different centres in Enugu, Abuja and Akure for the payment of their entitlement.
According to him, among the three centres, only Enugu paid fully. Abuja only paid half, Akure, he said, was the worst of all as it paid haphazardly.
The aggrieved former workers are pointing accusing fingers at some staff in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, alleging that they had decided to short-pay them without any just cause.
Some of the research institutes affected are Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, National Cereals Institute of Nigeria, National Stored Products Research Institute, Ilorin among many others.
“The most ridiculous is the payment of different packages of a very wide gap to people of the same years of service, same grade and same step. The gratuity that has taken the Accountant General, auditor General’s office more than a year to finalize was ridiculously altered at some pay centres especially at Akure.
“Whenever the severed staff are not ready to give out huge amount of their gratuity, they must be ready to dance to dirty music”, he alleged.
Mr. Oyelodun cited the example of one Mr. Odeyemi Matthew in Akure, who served for 33years, to buttress his point.
“He was expected to be paid N3m like his counterparts in Enugu, he was paid only N1million. Also, in Abuja centre, one Abdullahi Suleiman had about N1m pay cut. Mr. I.B Tijani of Cocoa Research expecting N1, 917,000 was paid N234,000 and since the initial payment was made, the balance is not yet paid.
“Some were made to sign for the gratuity prepared in figure and letter on a pay slip. This pay slip was immediately re-audited on the same table with a lot of alterations on the pay slip”, he said.
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