Delta State local government retirees have cried out over their unpaid pensions as well as N5.9bn unremitted contributory deductions from their salaries.
The retirees disclosed that the huge unremitted sum is lying fallow in the state government’s treasure while they had been left to die of starvation and penury.
Making the disclosure in a statement signed on behalf of the retirees by Mode Augustine, Henry Tukpe, Allensgate Agbanobi and Onwundijo Christopher, the retirees blamed the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for his inability to do the needful.
The statement reads, "The development is a result of the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa’s ‘failure’ to appropriate and release substantial amount of the monies to the State Bureau of Local Government Pensions to clear backlog of arrears of pension owed local government and public primary schools retirees in the state.
"Rule 1.2.1 of the Pension Act provides that an employee could access his or her Retirement Savings Account when such a person ceases to make further contribution into the RSA as a result of mandatory retirement.
“What then could be the reason for denying retirees in the local government including public primary schools teachers in Delta State access to the funds they contributed from their salaries after over five years of retirement?
“Most of us have no other means of livelihood apart from salaries that were stopped following our retirement. The situation has become unbearable as some of us are on medication, others living in rented apartments, while many are struggling to pay children school fees.
"We urge the governor to consider, approve and direct the Local Government Pension Bureau to issue necessary documents that will enable us access the money we contributed to our Pension Funds Administrators pending the payment of the accrued rights from the state as was already being applied to deceased employees/retirees in the state.
“On the alternative, put the retirees on pensions pending when the gratuity is paid as it is being done in Edo State.”