Tuesday 16 May 2017

Okorocha’s government exhibiting lawlessness – Imo pensioners

Imo State Council of Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, ​ has accused the government of Rochas Okorocha of “exhibiting lawlessness.”

This is part of a communique issued after an emergency meeting, in Owerri, ​the state capital, yesterday.

The retirees ​unanimously rejected​​​ the state government’s move to slash the monthly stipends of retirees by 50 percent.

The pensioners ​called it “another vexatious form designed and printed by the state government, which pensioners are compelled to sign.”

According to the​m: “The state government designed a form, directing pensioners to sign an undertaking that only 50 per cent monthly pension would be paid​”.

“The Imo NUP Council rejects in its entirety, the offer of 50 percent monthly pension.

“We also reject government’s claim that it has cleared all arrears of pension fully and has no outstanding liability to pensioners.”

​Secretary of Imo State Association of Retired Permanent Secretaries, Chief Fabian Agba, described government’s treatment of retirees as “a gross exhibition of lawlessness, especially as pension matters, salaries and wages are in the exclusive list of the Nigerian Constitution as amended.”

​He insisted that it was wrong for the governor and his officials to ​toying with pension, and ​advised Okorocha to “consult wisely before taking a position on such matters.”

​A retiree, Boniface Echefu​, ​from Isiala Mbano, ​warned members against signing the obnoxious document.

“It is unlawful for government to tamper with the amended Pension Act, through the back door, by slashing what is due to pensioners in the state.

​”​It is sad that our colleagues elsewhere get handsome packages,” Echefu said.

Gabriel Madu from Mbaitoli local council area, ​called the development “obnoxious and detrimental to the welfare of pensioners and workers on the payroll of the state government.”

​Earlier,​ ​State NUP Chairman, ​Chief Gideon Ezeji, said ​the move would expose retirees to more hardship.

Ezeji recalled a similar ​​directive last December that pensioners should forfeit 60 percent of their pension to the state government.

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