- Pensioners in Nasarawa state have protested unpaid gratuity by the state government
- The aggrieved pensioners lamented their conditions and appealed to the government to pay their entitlement
- The government was said to have paid the pensioners N100,000 each out of their gratuity
In protesting their unpaid benefits, aggrieved pensioners in Nasarawa state trooped into the streets of Lafia, the state capital and marched to the government house to express their grievances to Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com notes that the pensioners came out in large number and displayed placards with various inscriptions such as: "We need not to die before our pensions are paid, many pensioners are in the hospital due to percentage payment, please pay us our entitlement and save our lives.”
Alhaji Usman Ibrahim, spokesman for the protesters, lamented their conditions and described it as deplorable, adding that increasing number of deaths and sudden illnesses among their members in the last two months was worrisome.
He said: “Two hundred pensioners have died as a result of poverty, some of them are lying critically ill in the hospital unable to afford medications. Our members now depend on alms as beggars; they are supposed to have what is due to them to help themselves. Some of the pensioners, like Ismail Amos and Alhaji Rabi Immam are down with ill health begging for assistance from the government to cater for them."
One of the pensioners, Ismail Ibrahim, said: “I served for 25 years and after my retirement, I can’t get my benefit. I am not happy; our gratuity and pension should be paid."
Another pensioner identified as Labara Sabo, claimed that she was only paid N100,000 out of her N8,000,000 gratuity.
Alhaji Sanihu, the director-general of the Nasarawa State Pension Commission, appealed for understanding with the state government, adding that what the state has now is not enough to pay the pensioners their full pension.
It was learnt that over 1000 of the pensioners were being paid N100,000 each out of their gratuity.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state expressed concern over the inability of his government to pay full salaries of teachers in his state due to shortfall in revenue allocation.
According to him, if everyone would fail to get his complete salaries it should not be teachers because they play pivotal roles in the society.
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