The fate of about 8000 Local Council pensioners in Enugu State hangs in the balance, following the state government’s inability to settle arrears of their gratuities for 14 years.
The Guardian learnt that arrears owed ex-workers, which include retired staff of local councils and primary schools, amount to about N25b, as the workers were last paid in 2002.
It was gathered that while there are about 8000 pensioners on the payroll, about 1500 others, who retired in the last two years, are yet to be brought into the payment schedule of the state’s pension board.
One of the affected ex-workers, Mr Jerome Ugwu, said, “They keep retiring by the day and increasing the league of pensioners, whose gratuities are not known to government. Our worry is that the board that oversees this has no answer to our problems.
“Many have died while waiting for their gratuity; those of us who did not complete training their children before retirement, are passing through difficulties to feed. It is a pathetic situation.”
Ugwu, who said he retired as a teacher seven years ago, noted that the affected ex-workers, whose hopes were raised when the state government made new appointments to the board, were disappointed when the state did not include pensioners in the bailout fund, which it received from the Federal Government. (The Guardian)