Hundreds of retired public servants under the aegis of Association of
Contributory Retirees, yesterday disrupted economic activities in some
parts of Asaba- the Delta State capital following protest over
non-payment of their pensions.
The ex-workers, many ailing, chanted solidarity songs along the ever
busy Okpanam road, complaining bitterly of government failure to pay
They denounced the non-payment of their pensions, warning of mass
rallies and an impending strike action except the Delta State
government issues an irrevocable standing payment order (ISPO) to the
Accountant-General of the Federation by 30th October.
It said ‘it shall not hesitate to mobilize to carry out massive
rallies in Asaba , Agbor ,Warri, Kwale ,Ughelli and also sensitize the
Delta State public workers ,the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Joint
Negotiating Council to commence Industrial action against the State
government to compel them to honour and obey the Pension Reform Law
2008 signed by Governor Uduaghan’.
The ex-workers marched with placards with inscriptions such as
‘Uduaghan pay us our pensions’, ‘Pay us our N16.9 billion’, ‘Retirees
are dying’,’Gov. Uduaghan stop this Fraud’, ‘Save our souls’,’
Pensioners are dying due to non-payment of pension along the ever-busy
Okpanam Road to the State’s Legislature.
Speaker Peter Onwusanya represented aides urged the protesters to
remain peaceful, assuring the house leadership will convey their
protest to the State government.
Chairman of the group, Ovwiroro Ajueyitsi Eric, said Ovwiroro said the
State government contravened Pension Reform Law 2008, section 16,
Ovwiroro said the Delta State government defaulted in payment of 5% of
the monthly wage-bill of its employees into the Retirement Benefits
Bond Redemption Fund (RBBRF) account with the CBN which had
accumulated to over N16.9 billion as at December 2013.
He accused government of ‘irregular payment by the State government of
its 10% counterpart contribution into the retirement savings account
of contributory retirees.
He blamed government for delays in the payment of retiree benefits up
to two-three years.
Ovwiroro also blamed the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) for
delaying payment into retiree’s savings account for up to six months.
According to Ovwiroro, it viewed with discontent and regards the
various implausible reason proffered by relevant Delta State
Government officials as mischievous and a ploy to delay indefinitely
the payment and deny contributory retirees of their benefits.