Retirees in Delta State under the umbrella of Delta State Association of Contributory Retirees, have said they are dying of hunger following the inability of the state government to pay their pension benefits due them.
Addressing a press conference in Asaba, the state capital, Chairman of the association, Isaiah Agbaka, represented by his vice, Anthony Osanekwu, appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to save their souls from penury and untimely death by paying their pension benefits based.
He said, “We are also crying to the world to assist us to plead with the state government to have a human face and hear our demand of paying pension benefits. So many of our members have died as a result of non-payment that has led to starvation among others.
“All pension reform acts both federal and Delta State stipulates expressly that a worker upon retirement should not earn less than 50 per cent of his last salary before retirement. The current payment based on N7,500 has placed us at a disadvantaged position.
“We are vehemently opposed to and reject the inclusion of Governor Okowa’s aides, Syvester Monye and Kingsley Emu, in the present committee.
“The constant involvement of these individuals and setting up of several committees tend to portray an element of government gimmicks of circumventing the payment of N18,000 harmonised pension.
“The state government should invite PENCOM to the committee as well as the two actuarial valuers to put an end to this issue of harmonised pension.”
The retirees urged Governor Okowa to involve NLC, JNC, TUC and ACR in the present committee since they were part of the committee that submitted the acceptable working report of the moment.