National Union of Pensioners (NUP) has said Imo state government topped list of states owing pensioners arrears running into billions of Naira with N56 billion after Oyo State. NUP President, Dr. Abel Afolayan, made this known at the 2018 Nigeria Pensioners Day celebration with the theme, ‘Pension Without Tension, Without tears: A Task that Must be Accomplished by the Union in Years Ahead’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
While noting that Imo state had the worst record for dehumanizing and meting out unfair treatments to pension in the state, he labelled the federal and the state governments as guilty of violating the Constitution which stated that pension should be reviewed every five years. Afolayan said: “The Federal Government and by extension the state governments which are in full knowledge of the above-quoted sections of the Nigerian Constitution have always failed to comply with the provisions contained therein.
“The sections stipulate thus pension shall be reviewed every five years or together with any increase in workers’ wages, whichever comes earlier. The Federal and the state governments have always violated these constitutional provisions.
“Though the Federal government has been trying to comply partially, it has always failed woefully in the payment of arrears resulting from pension increase their pensioners’ outstanding pension arrears amounting to billions of Naira and covering many years.
“Imo State government has the worst record of nonchallant, cruel and dehumanizing treatment of their pensioners. As at today, Imo State government owes its pensioners N56 billion. “Oyo State government similarly owes Local Government and Primary School pensioners billions of Naira in unpaid pension arrears.
The matter is already before the National Industrial Court.” While commending the Federal Government for the verification exercise conducted across the country, he, however, lamented that the exercise had led to an enormous arrears of pension and gratuities owed genuine pensioners whose complaints had been captured on payrolls.
“However, this is not the case as far as payment of accrued rights by the Federal Government is concerned, thus making it impossible for contributory pensioners who migrate from DBS to CPS to be paid in time. It is our humble plea that immediate steps should be taken to pay all outstanding arrears and accrued rights in no distant future,” he said.