The Gombe state pensioners under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), have cried out over refusal of the state government to pay them what they described as their right.
The Union accused the State Government of failing in its responsibility to pay their pensions, gratuities and enrollment of retirees into the pensions scheme.
Speaking to newsmen during a briefing in Gombe, the Chairman of the state chapter of NUP, Muhammad Abubakar, disclosed that they have been deceived a number of times by the State Government after promising to meet up with their obligations to retirees who are facing untold hardship with their families.
He explained that several efforts have been made by the leadership of the Union; through visits and letters to key Government officials, without any positive result.
At the briefing, issues requiring immediate attention raised by the NUP include, non payment of March 2020 pensions for Gombe Local Government pensioners.
While speaking, the Chairman of the Union further explained: “We issued a letter No GMS/NUP/ADM/26/126 and dated 8th April, 2020 to His Excellency on the matter. Up till now, no news”.
According to him, he said the Union also requested for bailout to enable the LGA pay the March pensions to no avail, adding that, “We paid a courtesy call to the SSG on 29th May, 2020 on the issue. He told us that the the Local Governments were stable and that such would not be repeated.
His words: “Unfortunately, that was not to be as Gombe Local Government pensioners were not paid June, 2020 pensions in addition to the March, 2020 pensions that were not earlier paid. Civil servants salaries were all along being paid. What an irony. “
Gombe pensioners also frowned at the non enrollment of hundreds of pensioners from all Local Governments for over a year now.
Mohammed Abubakar also pointed out that the last time pensioners of the Local Governments were paid was in June 2012. ” By our records, pensioners in that arm of Government are owing from June 2012 up to 2020, nine years, not a kobo for gratuity has been paid”, he stated.
Though, the pensioners commended the State Government for flagging off the payment of 2014 gratuities for State civil servants to mark its 100 days in office but thereafter no payment was made by the government.
The Union leader said: “during the flag off, which was personally done by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Professor Abubakar Ibrahim Njodi, he told us that it would be a continuous exercise every month, as His Excellency sympathises with pensioners whose gratuities are not paid. We took his words for it, unfortunately, it is now eight months and nothing was done about our plight”.
All efforts by our Correspondent to get the reaction of the State Government on the allegations proved abortive. At the State Pensions Bureau, the head said he can’t speak without a clearance from the State Head of Civil Service.
When contacted, the Chairman of the Committee inaugurated by the Government for the payment of the 2014 gratuities who is also the State Auditor General, Mohammed Buba Gombe, directed our correspondent to the SSG Professor Abubakar Ibrahim Njodi.
All efforts made by Daylight Reporters to reach the SSG on the allegations proved abortive, as he did not respond to calls and text message put forward to him.
Support DAYLIGHT REPORTERS’ to grow in its strive and commitment to promote credible, balanced and accurate journalism.
By contributing to DAYLIGHT REPORTERS, you are helping to sustain unbiased, credible, balanced and accurate news platform that is free and accessible to all.