Federal retirees in Ogun on Tuesday lamented the hardships they are facing due to non-payment of their pensions and gratuities.
Addressing a news conference in Abeokuta, the retirees, under the auspices of the Contributory Pensioners Association of Nigeria (COPAN), said they had been neglected.
The leader of the association, Mr Kayode Da Silva, stated that the pensioners had witnessed untold hardships following the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to pay their pensions and gratuities since they retired in 2015.
Da Silva explained that the situation was contrary to the letter, intent and the spirit of the contributory pension scheme which stipulated payment within three months of retirement.
He noted that neither the federal government nor the National Pension Commission had offered credible and satisfactory reasons for the protracted delay, adding that the development had claimed the lives of many of the retirees.
“A number of us suffer from age-related ailments and must be on drugs daily.
“Such drugs are expensive and it is very difficult to take care of our health when the gratuity and the pensions are not paid.
“At the home-front, there is tension because of the inability to discharge domestic responsibilities.
“Many of us still train and feed children who are graduates and unemployed while others still have children in various higher institutions.
“Pensioners should not be made scapegoats for the ills and shortcomings of federal government agencies and personnel,” he said.
The union called on president Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the situation and order immediate payment being withheld since November 2015 by the relevant agencies.
Da Silva also called on the president to urgently address the delay in the reimbursement of the contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF) on retirement.
“As we speak, many of us who are retired even up to three years are yet to be reimbursed by the Federal Mortgage Bank,” he said.
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A cartoon From VANGUARD Newspaper