Pensioners in Zamfara State have lamented the state government’s refusal to settle their accumulated gratuities for many years.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Hassan Mohammed in the state said some pensioners who retired over seven years ago have not been paid their gratuity entitlements, pointing out that some of them have died because of frustration.
Speaking with ecocitytv in Gusau, the chairman noted that the accumulated gratuities were running into millions of naira, saying that the government seems not to care about the pitiable conditions of the pensioners.
He explained that the rate of retired civil servants was growing rapidly, lamenting that even the little pensions being paid by the State government do not come when it is due.
“We have laboured for the State government for 35 years but the same government is treating pensioners as second-class citizens in the scheme of things” he added.
He lamented that the current economic hardship in the country should have been enough reason to make Governor Matawalle’s administration pity the pensioners as they have no means of livelihood and depend fully on their pensions that are not coming on time.
Mohammed said the pensioners in Zamfara State are being paid the lowest monthly pension rate in the whole of Nigeria, pointing out that some pensioners still receive N3,000 per month which he said has been for over a decade.
He said the last time pensions were upwardly reviewed by the Zamfara State government was during the administration of former Governor Ahmed Sani Yarima between 1999 and 2007 despite national law authorizing upward reviews after every five years.
The chairman stated the negative development has seriously incapacitated his members and their families who depend only on the pension, stressing that the families of deceased retired civil servants were yet to be paid the gratuity or entitlements od their relatives.
“In fact the economic situation in the country is biting so hard on the retired civil servants in the state and their little pension cannot face the present economic reality ravaging the entire country.”