The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Ekiti State Council, Joel Akinola, lamented on Monday that members of the association were dying in large numbers from age-related ailments resulting from lack of means to cater to their health needs.
Akinola, who said the colossal amount owed pensioners in the state as gratuities and pensions, had compounded their situations.
He called on the governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to pay all pension arrears of both state and local governments’ former workers before the end of 2021.
The NUP chairman, who spoke at a press briefing organised by the senior citizens in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, accused the state government of deliberate neglect and abandonment of pensioners in the state.
He said, “We have written many letters to the government, but it appears the government is handling our matter with levity because we are elders.
“It is unfortunate that it is only in this part that the matter of the elderly is taken for granted.
“State pensioners last received allocation of N250m for the payment of gratuities in February 2021 and this brought the list of beneficiaries to June 2013.
The local government pensioners had allocation of N100m in July/August 2021, and this brought the list of beneficiaries to 2012/2013.
We are having unpaid arrears of pensions running into billions of naira.”
The NUP boss added, “Our members are dying in numbers. The more the government delays in paying this money, the more our members die due to old age and related ailments. Gratuities are not meant to be paid to dead people.
“We equally want to remind Governor Fayemi of his promise to liquidate the mounting outstanding gratuities through the capital market.
“Our members are anxiously waiting for the commencement of this arrangement.”
He lauded the Fayemi administration for increasing the monthly allocation from N10m to N100m on assumption but added that the N100m allocation had not been regular.