Focus more attention on suffering workers and pensioners rather than capital projects - Ekiti pensioners urge Fayose
They said this had caused untold post-retirement hardship and led to untimely deaths among their members.
The retirees urged Governor Ayo Fayose to pay their salary arrears as well as gratuities and monthly pensions totalling about N20 billion.
They called for the review of their pensions in conformity with Section 210, sub-section 3 of the 1999 Constitution.
Addressing a monthly meeting of pensioners yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the state’s Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Elder Ayo Kumapayi, urged the governor to focus on the welfare of civil servants and pensioners and stop giving priority to capital projects.
He also urged the government to set up an Advisory Committee on the disbursement of Paris Club refund, as done in other states.
Giving a breakdown of the amount owed pensioners as at September 2015, Kumapayi said local government pensioners were owed N10.8 billion while the state’s civil service pensioners were owed N8.9 billion, totalling N19.7 billion in pensions and benefits.
He said: “We want our government to focus more attention on suffering workers and pensioners rather than focus on capital projects. No matter how many roads, bridges or flyovers you build, history will tell you that you are doing it on the blood of senior citizens.
“If you pave the streets with gold and if I am sick, will I be able walk on that road? If you want to make a name – through projects – it should not be during a recession like this. If you have nothing to eat, will your wife tell you to buy clothes?
“Therefore, we wish to suggest that Ekiti State government should, between now and October 2018, focus attention on workers’ emoluments to enable them perform their statutory duties effectively.
“Similarly, the state government should pay pensioners their pensions and gratuities regularly in order to make them enjoy the fruits of their labour.
“Our pride as senior citizens who have faithfully, laboriously and dutifully served this nation is being rubbished daily. We are crying and justifiably so in view of our agonies; our suffering is an unprecedented assault on the psyches of our members in Ekiti State.”