By Nick Chibunna
An enlarged emergency executive council meeting of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (Imo State Wing)was held penultimate Saturday at the Union’s Secretariat, Owerri at which the union rejected the 36 months’ spread for the payment of the remaining arrears of their pensions.
In a communiqué after the meeting presided over by the Chairman, Chief G.U. Ezeji, KSc, the union commended Governor Okorocha for the commencement of the payment of pensioners’ arrears after what they described as “10 months of harrowing experience.”
The pensioners, however, observed that the payment was made two days after the officially scheduled date which they said exposed the retirees to the blazing heat of the sun.
The senior citizens also alleged that contrary to the governor’s promise of paying retired primary school teachers five months’ arrears out of the 22 months owed them, that they were rather paid for three months, adding also that the names of many pensioners were not captured at the last verification exercise.
The union further called on the governor to stand on his earlier pronouncement on the on-going pension payment by paying 100% to pensioners earning below N10,000, three months to state pensioners earning above N10,000 and 50% arrears to retired primary school teachers.
The pensioners also called for pension harmonization in line with federal government awards of 2003, 2007 and 2011.
Equally, the pensioners called on the governor to commence gratuity payment to them from where he stopped in 2014 as well as relist retired primary school teachers with the federal share of pensions in the pension roll.