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Wike’s govt owes 2,000 Rivers pensioners over N70b –NUP



Eniola Olayemi


Rivers State government is owing to the over 2,000 protesting members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in the state, under the contributory pension scheme, over N70 billion, the leadership of the union has said.

The spokesperson of the pensioners, Lucky Ati, who made the disclosure yesterday in Port Harcourt, urged persons still in service to join the protesting pensioners to fight the injustice, while noting that they might also suffer the same fate, upon retirement. He said: “We are suffering from the non-payment of our legitimate entitlements. People still in service should not behave as if the issue does not matter since it does not concern them now.

They should not forget that they will soon join us and be lamenting like us. “Leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) in Rivers State are not assisting the pensioners in fighting for their rights, despite their financial contributions to the two unions, while in active service. “The pension administrators are also not paying the pensioners who contributed to the contributory pension scheme, while in service

“All we want now is that the Rivers State Contributory Pension Law must be abrogated. It is suffocating us. Many of us have died out of penury. Some of us are diabetic and suffering from all manner of diseases. Is it a crime to serve the state for 35 years?” Ati also stated that Governor Nyesom Wike had not fulfilled the promise he made in October this year that the Rivers State Contributory Pension Law would be abrogated, to pave way for a better arrangement.

The Secretary of the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ike Wigodo, while addressing the protesting pensioners at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre of NUJ on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, pleaded with Wike’s administration to look into the plight of the pensioners, who retired from the Rivers State civil service from 2015 to date. He condemned the non-payment of the pensions and gratuities of the senior citizens, stressing that having served Rivers State in various capacities with their youthful age, the pensioners deserve the benefits of their labour and should be paid forthwith. Wigodo lauded the protesting pensioners for their peaceful conduct, praying that their years of service for Rivers State would not be in vain.