Retirees in Ekiti State on Thursday asked the governor, Ayo Fayose, to pay their pension arrears and benefits totaling N19.7billion.
They also lamented the state of neglect suffered by many of their members, leading to their untimely death.
They called for the review of their pensions in conformity with Section 210(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
Speaking to journalists in Ado-Ekiti after their monthly meeting, the Ekiti NUP state chairman, Ayo Kumapayi, charged Governor Fayose to focus on the welfare of the civil servants and pensioners, instead giving priority to capital projects.
He also advised the state government to set up an Advisory Committee to advise it on the disbursement of Paris Club Refund as already done in some states of federation.
Breaking down the amounts owed them as at September 2015, Mr. Kumapayi said local government pensioners were owed N10.8 billion while state civil service pensioners were owed N8.9 billion totalling N19.7 billion owed as pensions and benefits.
“We want our government to focus more attention on the suffering workers and pensioners rather han focusing on capital projects,” he said.
“No matter the roads, bridges or flyovers you build, history will tell you that you are doing it on the blood of senior citizens.
“If you pave the streets with gold and if I am sick, will I be able walk on that road? If you want to make a name (through projects), it should not be during recession like this. If you have nothing to eat, will your wife tell you to buy clothes?
“Therefore, we wish to suggest that Ekiti State government should between now and October 2018 focus attention on workers’ emoluments in order to enable them perform their statutory duties effectively.
“Similarly, the state government should pay pensioners their pensions and gratuities regularly in order to make them enjoy the fruit of their labour.”
Mr. Kumapayi added that the pride of the senior citizens who had “faithfully, laboriously and dutifully” served the nation was being rubbished daily.
“We are crying and justifiably so in view of our agonies; our sufferings and an unprecedented assault on the psyches of our members in Ekiti State,” he said.
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