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Don’t tamper with our pensions anymore – NUP tells IMSG

Imo State pensioners have reminded Governor Anayo Rocha Okorocha of the state that a cut in pensions amounts to contempt of court and a breach of the National Industrial Court verdict in a case between the state government and the Nigeria Union of Pensioner (NUP).
This followed the governor’s announcement at May Day rally that pensions were over-bloated with strange allowances including “sleeping, lateness and other allowances”.
In a press release signed by its state chairman, Chief James Osuiogwe, and secretary, Evang. Livinus Asiegbu, the NUP frowned at this “current move of the Imo State government to recalculate or reduce the pensions of Imo State pensioners”, regarding it as insensitive, wicked and unlawful.
The statement pointed out that the government deliberately avoided harmonizing pensions within its seven years in power in line with the six percent increase in 2003, the 15 percent of 2003 and the 33 percent of 2010 approved by the Federal Government.
The NUP pointed out that neighboring states and the federal Government have implemented this.
Observing that the allowances are integral part of the pensions, the union stated that the state government has no right to recalculate alter or tamper with the pensions, adding that to do that amounts to absolute ignorance of the law.
The union recalled that the government had only paid gratuities belowN500,00 despite several bail-out funds from the federal Government, describing as embarrassing the claim of the administration that it had cleared all pensions and gratuities.
According to the statement, government is owing pensioners from Alvan Ikoku federal College of Education 50 to 90 months, Imo Broadesting Corporation 47-59 months, civil servants 33 months and retired primary school teachers 45-63 months.
The pensioners had a running battle with the Imo State government which ended up in the National Industrial Court where the pensioners challenged the government’s more to force them to sign away 60 percent of their pension arrears and accept 40 percent.
The court averred that no law permits the state government to alter or withhold any part of workers’ pensions.

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