Kogi pensioners appeal to government to pay gratuity, harmonize pension

Pensioners in Kogi State have appealed to the stare government to look into the payment of gratuities in the local governments, pointing out that none of them had been paid.

The Kogi State Chairman, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Engr. Clement Ohida, made the appeal shortly after the Central Working Committee meeting of the union held in Lokoja on Wednesday.

Ohida, while appreciating the Governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Usman Ododo, over an improvement in the percentage payment to pensioners in February, appealed for the harmonization of pension for Pensioners who retired several years back.

The NUP Chairman said the payment of 100% pension to pensioners in the State is achievable based on the Federal Government policy asking that all arrears be cleared.

He said, “While we are appreciating the state government for where we are, we believe that payment of 100 per cent pension is achievable.

“We call on the government to look into the aspect of payment of gratuity as this will help cushion the economic situation of our pensioners.”

He said it is not normal that pensioners should be paid a percentage.

“We are coming from a situation where pensioners have had to live with 30-35% of their pension for whatever reason. But progressively we’re now on 85%, reason for the appreciation.

“We are not unaware that many of our people are not happy about this development of percentage pension. But the fact that whatever you cannot get by fighting, you may not have a choice but to apply diplomacy to still arrive at it.

“As a Union, we’re ready to bend backwards, reason why we’re appreciating the Government and also asking for more in the areas of 100% payment of pension, harmonization and payment of gratuity.

“We equally appeal to the State Government on the need to harmonize pension in the State. We have pensioners who retired several years back and what they take is nothing to write home about.

“Some states have implemented what is called minimum pension making Pensioners take home something reasonable. In Kogi, we still have Pensioners who take as little as N5000. Now when that amount is paid based on percentage, you can imagine what it means for such a pensioner,” he said.

He assured the present administration of the support and cooperation of pensioners in the State.


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