Niger State Governor Abubarkar Sani Bello has been called upon to as a matter of urgency look compassionately into the plights of retired civil servants whose life has become a living hell due to the harsh economic realities and pay them their gratuities.
A situation whereby retired civil servants who had served the state meritoriously turn to beggars and are not sure of where their next meal is coming from on a daily basis does not speak well of the state government, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Niger state chapter said.
They nevertheless commended the state government for paying 30 percent to some retirees but reminded the Governor of the need to offset the 70 percent balance and as well attend to those who are yet to be captured.
Secretary of the NUP in Niger state, Comrade Abdullahi Baba Sani in an interview in Minna, pleaded with Governor Bello led administration to look into the plight of retirees who are not only dying almost on a daily basis without receiving their gratuities but often subjected to all forms of embarrassments by landlords.
Many retirees have no houses of their own but live in rented apartments and are now being evicted for inability to pay rents, this according to Baba Sani is the height of humiliation and therefore wants Governor Bello to look compassionately to their plight and do something.
Instead of being appreciated, the NUP Secretary expressed regrets that after serving meritoriously for 35 years, members are not only being denied their entitlements as a reward but exposed to dangers of humiliation and embarrassments, this he said is uncalled for.
Retirees are dying on a daily basis without receiving their gratuities and those in rented houses face eviction daily because they cannot pay house rents and that is why we are appealing to the Governor to take stringent measures in addressing the issue”.
The union’s Secretary is advising Governor Bello led administration to use part of the N19 billion to states by the federal government to settle gratuities of retired civil servants as doing so will rekindle the hope of survival for the Senior citizens in Niger state.
“NUP appreciates efforts by the state government for paying 30% to those who retired earlier. The Governor should do the needful by paying the 70% balance and also ensuring that those who are yet to be captured are paid 100% of their gratuities”, the Secretary said.
Comrade Sani said it is unfortunate that since the inception of the present administration in 2015, only a few retirees were paid 30% of their gratuities despite all the bailouts received from the federal government to assist states financially to pay salaries and pensions.
While however pleading with fellow retirees to be patient with the state government, the Secretary assured members that the leadership of the union in the state are making a frantic effort to see that the government look into their most pressing challenges.