Rivers Pensioners Shut Down State Secretariat, Barricade Govt House over 8-years unpaid gratuities

Henry Okere Port Harcourt

 

Pensioners in Rivers State on Wednesday took over the state​ secretariat, in protest of their unpaid eight years gratuities and six years pension arrears​.
The retired civil servants who came out in their numbers also barricaded the gates of the Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt, where they were later addressed.
They displayed placards expressing their frustrations and disappointment at the state government’s refusal to pay them their allowances, describing the actions of the state governor, Nyesom Wike as unfortunate.
Addressing reporters, Coordinator of the pensioners in the state, Lucky Ati, said: “We are here because for over 8 years, some persons have not been paid their entitlements.
“These are statutory entitlements. We are not asking for anything outside what they are supposed to pay us. For the past eight years, no person in Rivers has been paid gratuity. And you can imagine the life of a civil servant that has nothing and eight years thereafter nothing is been paid.”
He​ also decried the failure of the Rivers​ State Government to implement the recommendations of the tripartite committee​
“There is nothing that we have not done. There was a tripartite committee that submitted their report April last year and nobody has acted on the recommendations of the report.
“They acknowledged that they have received the report, so how voluminous is the report that government cannot issue a white paper on? The government has not done anything to implement what was in the report,” he lamented.
Addressing the retirees, Director-General of the State Pension Board, Samuel Ijeomah told the retirees that the governor has approved payment of the backlog of pensioners who had “completed their biometrics” since last year and early this year.
He said the payment will commence from next week. “As of last week, the governor has approved the payment of all of them. About 1000 persons and I’m sure by next week, they will be paid,” he said.

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