Rivers Pensioners threaten mass protests over gratuities, death benefits

Rivers State Pensioners have threatened to hit the streets and protest the failure of the state government to look into their welfare.

Collins Nwankwo, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners in Rivers State stated this at the South-South Zonal meeting of the union in Port Harcourt recently.

He said the state government was insensitive to the plight of its members, adding that the issue of payment of gratuities, initial pension arrears, and death benefits have not been attended to despite various pleas by the union.

According to him: “It is very pathetic that the usual payment of gratuities, pension arrears, and death benefits which hitherto were things of joy, have become sources of punishment to our living pensioners and the survivors of the deceased ones.

“Since the inception of the present administration in 2015, no dime has been paid in this direction and all efforts towards getting our government to consider the need to address them are always not admitted.”

But the Director-General of the Rivers State Pensions Board, Samuel Ijeoma, said the government will continue to give premium to pensioners’ welfare as senior citizens of the state

He noted that the present administration was not owing pensioners adding that the Nyesom Wike-led administration will look into the ssue of their gratuities increases and gratuities and pension arrears.

“It was the reason the government emphasised on the recent biometrics to ascertain the actual number of pensioners in the state,” the official stated.