Abia chapter of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, has threatened demonstration if the state government failed to pay them their February pension.
Chairman of the NUP, Umuahia branch, Deacon Dan Amugo told newsmen in Umuahia that the union hds informed the secretary of the Pensions Board of the decision of the union.
It would be recalled that the union had last Friday shot the offices of the Abia State Pension Board on Bende Road and the union’s secretariat on School Road in protest of the arrears of pensions owed them by Abia State government.
Amugo said that they had to lock the offices as a way of drawing government’s attention to the trauma their members were going through as a result of the delay in the payment of their pensions.
He lamented that “gratuity is in prison in Abia State,” adding that even the monthly pension had become a matter of government insensitivity to the plight of the pensioners.
According to him, the problem of arrears of pensions started in October 2013 when they introduced half payment “and has remained the custom since then; no change.
“For example, our people are being owed from four to seven months arrears, and when they pay it is haphazard; they pay A, they will not pay B; and we want the February pension to be paid to everyone or else we go back to the street. This makes the pensioners angry; that is the reason we locked the offices,” he said.
He disclosed that the union had prepared a form which would be filled by every member to state the number of months owed them since the government was claiming that no pensioner is owed; “so that they will not lie to the incoming government that they are not owing pensioners.”
He appealed to the outgoing government to ensure that the arrears were cleared to lessen the debt burden on the incoming administration.
Amugo said that retired permanent secretaries whose pensions ranged from N500, 000 collect their pensions by hand just like any of them, and by the time about a hundred of them were paid they would say money is finished, wondering why such huge amounts would not be paid through the bank.

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