Edo State government has assured local councils’ pensioners that their outstanding pensions and gratuities would be paid. The Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu gave the promise yesterday when the pensioners protested to the Government House in Benin City.
The protesters disrupted official activities until the deputy governor pacified them. He explained that since 2008, local councils had been in charge of their internally generated revenue, as well as their workers’ pensions.
They also alleged that the bailout funds from the Federal Government had been used in some states to pay the state pensioners, while the local councils pensioners were still being owed arrears.
The retired civil servants, who protested on the platform of Local Government Pensioners Association (LOGPENAS), alleged that they have been denied the several increments that they were supposed to earn.
The protesters, who carried various placards, also marched to the state Council Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). They demanded the payment of their arrears, enrolment of newly retired pensioners, harmonisation of their pensions and regular payments of their entitlements.
Their spokesperson, Theophilus Uwagboe, urged the state government to pay them their entitlements from the recent Paris Club refunds. While noting that it was lawful for them to express their grievances, the deputy governor said: “This is not the first time we are talking. The last time when the state and local council pensioners came, we discussed the issue of bailout and how it would be used.
“Today, the aspect of the state had already been resolved, because the pensioners who were captured in the biometric registration are now receiving their entitlements even before the workers in the civil service.”