Kogi State Government has promised to look into issues raised by the state pensioners to make retirement more enjoyable and productive.
The State Head of Service, Mrs Hannah Odiyo gave the assurance in a message to this year’s celebration of National Pensioners Day, held at the Union’s Secretariat Lokoja.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in Charge of Establishment and Training, Mr
Peter Ebiloma, Congratulates the HoS congratulates the Pensioners on the occasion, saying after years of meritorious services, pensioners as senior citizens should live a life of fulfillment and pleasure.
She thanked Governor Bello for the prompt payment of monthly pension to the state civil servants, assuring that Governor Bello would in the course of time improve the lot of Local Government’s workers and pensioners.
In a remark, the Director General of the State Pension Commission, Mrs Maryam Obedo described Governor Bello as a retiree friendly Governor recalling that Bello personally told her to justify her appointment by putting smiles on the faces of the retirees.
The Director General explained that a lot of innovations have been embarked upon in her tenure noting that those with severe health challenges on some occasions were helped to access their gratuities.
She however warned those acting as middle men to extort pensioners by promising to help them assess their gratuities emphasising that the era of submitting authority letter through someone else is cancelled.
Mrs Obedo said pensioners are paid the same day with those in service and promised to brief Governor Bello on the grievances of the Local Government pensioners and workers.
The DG said her office would soon be digitalised to catter for current challenges including that of missing documents, time wasted in getting files as well as the amount paid or owed by the state government to individuals pensioners.
In an address by the state Chairman of the Union,
Engineer Clement Ohida expressed sincere appreciation to Governor Bello for paying monthly pension allowance to Pensioners and the release of 100 million on monthly basis for gratuities.
He however expressed worry over the dehumanizing conditions of LG pensioners who are currently living on 35% of their entitlements.
Engineer Clement Ohida who disclosed that the Local Government retirees have been living on percentage payments since the inception of Bello led administration emphasised that there are no indications for the refund of the arrears of the percentage being paid as well as their gratuities since the inception of his administration.
Similarly, the State Chairman of the
Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh
Edoka, warned those paying lips services to the issues of pensioners to desist emphasising that majority would soon fall into the same situation after retirering.
He charged labour leaders and unionist to serve with the genuiness of purpose by taking issues of workers with utmost concerned. and disclosed that Governor Bello is not aware of some of the predicaments of workers and pensioners.
Edoka demanded for the implementation of the minimum wage, as well as the consequential adjustment of the pensioners of Kogi State.
He also called for the scrutiny of the idea of the contributory pension scheme saying such decision should not be taken without executing full payment of salaries and promotion of workers.