50 Pensioners Die Awaiting Claims


More than 50 pensioners in Sokoto State died while awaiting their federal share of  pensions from 2000 to date.

Alhaji Ahmed Tangaza, Chairman of the Sokoto State chapter of the Nigeria Union of  Pensioners ( NUP) disclosed this in Sokoto on Tuesday.

He spoke at a special prayer session organised by the union, to seek God’s  intervention in the payment of the arrears of the federal pensions.

“We have some 9,000 pensioners under the state government and the 23 local  governments of the state and close to 2,000 of  them who have worked before March  1976, have federal shares of pension,’’ he explained.

He said that the arrears of the federal shares of pensions, owing the pensioners  nationwide since 2,000 amounted to trillions of naira.

“We were told that the Federal Government had recently  set aside about N176  billion  to defray part of the arrears.

“These arrears had yet to be paid after over six  verifications with the  last  biometric conducted about three months ago,”  Tangaza stated.

The chairman appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the union by  paying such entitlement without further delay.

He said that, the pensioners might convene a nationwide prayer if the arrears were  not paid within the next two weeks.

Tangaza also condemned some of the banks for delaying the payment of their monthly  pensions  and other entitlements.

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He however, commended the state government for ensuring the prompt payment of  gratuities  to its retired workers.

“We are, however, appealing  for the implementation of the new 15.5 and 12 per cent  of pensions and the immediate payment of some pension arrears for new retirees.

These retirees, he said, were those in the Primary Schools Pensions Board, as  approved by the governor, Tangaza said.

Also contributing, a National Trustee of the union, Alhaji Sani Iya, appealed to the  officials handling pension matters at all levels to  “fear God and have mercy on the  pensioners.

“They should also bear in mind that, they will become pensioners one day if they are  lucky. They should fear God,’’ he added .

Reacting, Sokoto State Finance Commissioner, Alhaji Faruku Yabo said that, all the  finance commissioners across the nation were aware of the plight of the pensioners  about their federal shares.

“We are all concerned and we are working round the clock jointly to ensure that they  get paid as soon as possible,’’ he said.

Yabo further said that the  governor of the state, Alhaji  Aliyu Wamakko,  had  approved the payment of the N53 million pension arrears owed the newly retired  primary school teachers in the state.

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