- A group of pensioners in Imo state, on the platform of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has cried out over the government's inability to pay accrued pension
- In favour of the group, the National Industrial Court ruled that the development was “insensitive, wicked and unlawful"
- The Court further said in its judgment that the state government has no right to owe the pensioners
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), the Imo state chapter, has described the state government’s effort to reduce the pensions of retirees, despite recent judgment by the National Industrial Court over the act as being “insensitive, wicked and unlawful.”
The NUP in a press release signed by its state chairman and principal state secretary, James D. Osuigwe and Evangelist Livinus Asiegbu respectively, said: “The union recalls that Imo state government has only paid gratuities below N500,000 to affected pensioners and refused to pay gratuities above N500,000 since it came to power seven years ago, The Vanguard reports.
This is in spite of several bailout funds advanced by the Federal Government, to clear arrears of pensions and gratuities.”
Moreover, the senior citizens raised the issue that the Rochas Okorocha administration “deliberately avoided harmonising pensions since it came to power seven years ago.”
Substantiating their allegation, association remarked: “The government has failed, refused or neglected to pay the six percent increase of 2003, 15 percent of 2003 and 33 per cent of 2010, approved by the Federal Government and long implemented by our neighbouring states.
“It is embarrassing that Imo State Government has continued to claim falsely that it has cleared all pension arrears and gratuities owed Imo pensioners.”
With reference to specifics, the union leaders said that Imo Broadcasting Corporation retirees are owed between 47-59 months, civil service pensioners, 33 months, retired primary school teachers, 43-63 months and Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, 50-90.
The NUP said: “It must be said that the government’s announcement, purporting to remove allowances in pension, amounts to contempt of court and breach of the verdict of the National Industrial Court.”
The court’s judgment read in part: “There is no law permitting the Imo State Government to alter or withhold any part of the pension of pensioners in the public service of Imo State. The Imo State Government or any of the defendants do not have the authority or power to alter or withhold any part of the pension of any retired civil servant.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that a group of pensioners in Imo state on Thursday, January 6, said the state has accumulated a backlog of 77 months pension debt.
The pensioners in a protest decried the nonchalant attitude of the state governor Rochas Okorocha over their plight.
What is cooking in Imo state? On NAIJ.com TV