Some pensioners in Abia state on Wednesday expressed dis-appointment over the backlog of pensioned owed it’s members.
The pensioners who Spoke to newsmen over the disappointment pleaded with the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to kindly come to their aid.
Sunday Obioma a retiree spoke to newsmen about the development.
In his words: “I retired 1999, am being owed two years, 2018 and 2019 by the government or Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, plus 3months by the previous governor, some of us are been owed 8months before this present administration. In the month of match I was paid half pension and since that time I haven’t been paid again.
“Many of us are sick and we cannot go to the hospital because of lack of money.
“All I am pleading is for the government to pay us. If we are not included in the schedule, he should announce it to us. We have been going to the ministry of finance and each time they tell us before the week runs out and the week keep running out.”
Okoye Eberechukwu who is also a retiree said it is so unfortunately
that things have gone the way it is now, initially the government was doing well in managing the payment of pension. They were regular up till February this year. Incidentally no body has been able to call the pensioners to address them about the difficulties of why they have not been paid.
” In the middle of May they paid half pension, representing March 2021 and up till then nothing. Invariably between March and July 2021 pensioners have only been paid half pension representing March.
Eberechukwu also pleaded with Abia state government as a matter of urgency to come to their aid.
In his words: many of us are sick, we need to pay school fees, we need to take care of ourselves. There are people who retired while their children were still in school, but unfortunately that which is due to them is not coming. If the state government can find a lasting solution, it will solve a lot of problems because many of them are dieing.”
Eberechukwu also put into consideration the poor economic level of the state but raised an argument.
” We know that this state economy is bad, we also know that the allocation from the federal government is equally poor. But one should put into consideration that when there was coronavirus which affected movement of people, the state government maintained the payment of salary. Now that they are generating revenue and also getting from federal allocation, it is difficult to believe that Abia state government cannot even pay pension anymore. Local government and state pensioners are being owed. It’s quite unfortunate. Eberechukwu lamented.
Efforts to reach Abia state commissioner for Information Chief John Okiyi Kalu for comment via text message and Whatsapp proved abortive as the time of filing this report.