By Balogun Damilola
Pensioners under the umbrella of Contributory Pensioners Association, Ogun State branch, have cried out to the Federal Government and the Pension Commission to pay their 16 months accumulated pension arrears and gratuities.
The senior citizens wondered on what could be responsible for the delay in payment of their entitlements, having undergone biometric exercise.
The pensioners while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, on Thursday, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct those concerned to offset the pension arrears in no distance time.
They accused the FG of being irresponsible to their plights for not considering them as the most vulnerable group at this period of Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The State Chairman of the Association, Mr Lanre Irhiemi, lamented that despite various calls and appeals on the payment of the pension arrears and gratuities, saying the government had failed to heed to any of their actions.
“This month makes it one year and four months (16 months) since we retired as the Federal Government workers without receiving a dime up to date as our pensions and gratuities.
“The coming of coronavirus codenamed COVID-19 has now worsened our already vulnerable situation in which we exist in a beggarly state at the mercy of friends and sympathetic family members. Now with support coming from nowhere and nobody, we are sending this SOS (Save Our Soul) to Mr President to quickly act and save our souls from hunger and COVID-19.
“The senior citizens deserve a stress-free retirement and so, we appeal to you Mr President to put necessary machinery into motion by releasing our Accrued Rights to PenCom for onward payment to our PFAs in order to enable the PFAs (Pension Funds Administrators) to commence immediate payment of retirees,” he added.
Irhiemi noted that some sections of Pension Act 2004 and Reformed Pension Act 2014 that guide operations of Contributory Pension Scheme, had it that pensioners must get paid six months after the retirement date.