The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Rivers State Chapter has appealed to the State Governor, Chief Nyeson Wike to address the problems of pensioners, especially as it affects those involved in the contributory pension scheme.
Chairman of the union, Comrade Collins Iheanyi Nwankwo made the appeal during an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt on the sidelines of the ground-breaking for the construction of an ultra-modern secretariat building of the state branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at Igbouku Street, D/Line.
While commending Governor Wike for embarking on the project as promised during the last May Day celebration, the NUP chairman said most pensioners in the state were suffering untold hardship and dying due to lack of finance to feed and care for themselves and their families.
According to him, “as we appreciate and commend the effort of the governor in reforming the state with infrastructure, we also ask him to do something urgently to address the pathetic issue of pensioners whose gratuities and other entitlements are yet to be paid as many of them are languishing and dying of hunger and other infirmities”.
Nwankwo noted that the union executive was on the process of seeking audience with the governor with a view to presenting the issues affecting pensioners in the state, including the contributory pension scheme which is a great burden on both pensioners and serving civil servants.
“As a labour house, the building of a befitting secretariat is a good thing which has been on the drawing board for years but could not be actualized by previous administrations. We thank Governor Wike for his good work and beg him to extend his magnanimity to pensioners by paying their entitlements.
“WE appeal to the governor to remember us in his framework and carry us along. Many pensioners are not happy. Let him try to defuse the problems of pensioners”, the chairman said.
He, however, appealed to the affected pensioners to be patient while the union secures audience with the governor as going on the streets in protest or violent action was not the right option.