C'River pensioners cry out over non payment of pension, gratuity

Photo Credit :TNN

By Godshield Kanjal

Pensioners  in Cross River state have lamented over non payment of monthly pension, pension arrears and gratuity.

Some of the retirees who converged at the Accountant General's office in Calabar Monday, when Fearless Reports visited the AG's office premises were heard lamenting in hush tunes over non payment of their entitlements.

Though they declined to disclose their names to the press apparently for fear of victimization since they were not authorized by the pensioners association to address the press, some of them however alleged that their monthly pension had been deducted indiscriminately

Others on the other side alleged that they have been owed several months of pension arrears

It was further gathered that most of the pensioners have developed life  threatening ailments, with little or no money for better medical treatment

A retiree who spoke on condition of anonymity lamented that since she retired in 2012, life had been tough for her and family.

The retiree who said her monthly pension of N25,000 has been cut down to 11,000, insisted that this outrageous deduction had lasted for the past three years

According to her, after taking the complaints to the consultants at the Head of Service office in Calabar, nothing was done to correct it as her arrears had gulped over  N400,000

On her gratuity, she said: "I have not gotten my gratuity since I retired in 2012.

"Recently we heard that government wants to start payment of pension arrears and gratuity but it seems it was a paper talk because I have not heard from any of my colleague who has gotten his or her gratuity or pension arrears

"Till today, Tuesday, we have not been paid July pension- which is very bad.

" I came all away from Obudu to Calabar to find out what the problem is -but no positive response has come from the authorities

Recall that the state governor, Mr Ben Ayade had promised to pay pensioners of their entitlements including pension arrears and gratuity with the recent tranche of Paris refund which is over six billion naira.

Investigation revealed that some retirees whose pension arrears have accumulated to about five hundred to one million naira, aside gratuity.

Further investigations shows that the consultants at the head of service office are running shady deals. There are several complaints from retirees about their act. They collect bribe from ailing pensioners with promise of fast-tracking their arrears,  to no avail.

Efforts to speak with the Commissioner of finance, Mr Ekpenyong proved abortive.
Governor Ben Ayade 1404745505883629532

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