Retired civil servants in Edo State, under the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, on Wednesday called on Governor Godwin Obaseki to pay the outstanding monthly pensions and gratuities owed them with the second tranche of the Paris Club refund.
They also appealed to the governor to fulfill his Workers’ Day promise to resolve pending pensions in June 2017.
The aggrieved pensioners, who made the call during a peaceful protest in Benin, the state capital, wondered why they were yet to receive their entitlements from the N12.18bn, which they claimed was the second tranche of the Paris refund.
One of the protesters who retired in 2015 as a head teacher in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Mrs. Joy Uhunnwangho, claimed that she was owed 10 months pension arrears, a development which she said had made life difficult for her.
Uhunnwangho stated, “The gratuity has not been paid at all. It is very difficult for me. I have things to do with the money. Do they expect us to die before they bring the money?
“It is like putting all your hope in something and it is not forthcoming; it is very annoying. We are not supposed to go to the streets as old as we are. Must we remind them of their responsibility? It is very painful. I want them to pay off the money so that we can use it.
The spokesman for the protesters, Mr. Osemwenkha Gabriel, said that the affected pensioners were owed between five and 42 months and 13 to 32 months at the state and local government levels, respectively.
“The irony is that the bailout the Federal Government gave to all states to settle salary and pension arrears, we don’t know where it is now. The state government is not forthcoming to address the issue,” Gabriel added.