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Ondo pensioners threaten showdown over unpaid allowances

The Ondo State Chapters of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners has threatened a showdown with the state government if the gratuities and pension arrears of its members are not paid within seven days.

The pensioners, who served in the civil service, teaching service and local government service, at a meeting in Akure, the state capital, on Wednesday, gave the government seven days for the debt to be cleared.

They threatened specifically that if by the end of the week, their August pension was not paid, they would have no choice than to take to the streets for a protest.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, the state Secretary of the union, Mr Funso Odere, said none of his member had received any gratuity since 2011.

According to him, the total indebtedness of the state government to the pensioners in term of gratuity aside the monthly pension was about N15bn, adding that all entreaties to the government had not yielded any result.

He said, “Certain amount of money is being deducted from our monthly pension which is illegal. They said the money is being paid to a consultant, who is in charge of remittal. It is the state government that should pay the consultant and not the pensioners. They should stop this illegal deductions and pay us back those money that were deducted from our monthly pension.

“Some pensioners, who retired years ago, were being paid N5,000 whereas those who retired early this year are being paid N80,000. We want the government to harmonise us. You can’t imagine a permanent secretary, who laid the foundation for the old Ondo State, being paid N50,000 while those who retired this year are earning over N350,000.

“Some pensioners retired early this year, especially those who retired between January and August, have not been paid their pension arrears. The government paid one month instead of eight months.

“Some pensioners are on sick bed right now; some have died due to non-payment of monthly pension. We are suffering in silence Ondo State. Many die because they could not afford to buy drugs for their illness. We want the government to look into our plight.”

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Posted By Bobricky On 11:08 Wed, 07 Oct 2015

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