The Imo state pensioners yesterday protested unpaid four months pension arrears, even as the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, has vowed to pay them by Friday this week.
The pensioners led by the Chairman pension intervention committee, Iyke Ohaneje, who arrived at the Government House, said that they were not happy over the delay in the payment of their pension and that it was the reason for which they came out to complain to the government.
Addressing the pensioners, the Imo state Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Cosmos Iwu, said: “I commend the pensioners for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner and I have given them the assurance that they will be paid their pension by Friday, and that the reason for the delay is that the government is still sorting out the names of retired pensioners because some people who are still in civil service also receive pension. So, we are cleaning up the payroll system.”
In the same vain, the leadership of Imo state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, led by Austin Chilakpu, has reacted to pensioners protest saying that NLC, has dissociated itself from a protest by some pensioners in the state.
He said that, the pensioners are aware that discussions between the government and NLC, to completely clean up the rot in the pension payroll and pay all outstanding pension was already in progress.
According to Chilakpu, “NLC has been dialoguing with the State government on the pension issue and was aware of the fact that there were still a number of contentious entries on the pension payroll which the government is sorting out to ensure a comprehensive clean pensioners’ list. The government has assured Labour that all outstanding pensions will be paid soon.
“NLC will soon address the public on the rot in the pension scheme and appealed to the pensioners to exercise a little patience because we are sure that the issues will soon be resolved and outstanding pensions paid.
“The Union was not in support of protests because the pensioners may unwittingly make themselves vulnerable for infiltration by those who do not mean well for them, the protesters did not get approval from neither NLC nor the police to embark on any protests.”