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S’West Govs Spending Big On Election Despite Owing Us N242bn –Pensioners

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Pensioners have slammed South West governors for spending millions of naira on party nomination forms despite owing them N242 billion in pensions and gratuities.

The retirees, under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), who held their zonal council meeting in Akure yesterday, berated the governors for abandoning them.

The senior citizens, who spoke through the Zonal Secretary, Comrade Olusegun Abatan, said they have been living in penury.

They criticised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for not helping them.

Abatan said: “The condition of pensioners in the South West still remains the same with unpaid gratuities. Many South West states have been owing pensioners since 2012 and 2013.

Pensioners are being owed between N68 billion and N78 billion. “Ogun State owes N68 billion; Ondo State N78 billion; Ekiti State N38 billion; and Osun N58 billion.

“Lagos is almost free of indebtedness because it has entered into the Contributory Pension Scheme.

“We discovered that to liquidate, for example, N68 billion, it will take that government 34 years. And this brings to the fore the core labour centres – the NLC and TUC as well as the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) to please have a common understanding with the NUP.

“What we are saying is that the NLC and TUC should take the matters of pensioners as a matter of urgency and if possible, they should declare a trade dispute with state governments that are owing pensioners’ huge amounts of money.”

The group added: “All efforts are now being geared towards the 2023 election. The security of everybody is no longer on the plates of our politicians and political parties. And what is interesting is that governors that are owing pensioners seven years of unpaid gratuities and pensions were the first to pay N100 million for a nomination form.

“You can imagine if this type of governor becomes President, what will happen to pensioners?”

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