By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”RETIREES ofÂ the Edo State Territory of NIPOST, yesterday in Benin,Â staged a protest march to register their displeasure over the non-payment of their pension benefits.
Chairman of the retirees, Mr. Joseph Ekunwe, who blamed NIPOST management for the situation, insisted that the action had led to the death of over 15 members in the last one year.
â€œWe have served this nation meritoriously and retired. It is, however, disheartening to note that after putting in over 30 years of dedicated and selfless service, we are left to die of hunger and abject poverty due to non-payment of our pension benefits for 30 months.
“Our pension benefits remained unpaid for no just cause, even when the Head of the Federal Civil Service gave a directive that all federal ministries and parastatals should submit the list of their retirees to Accountant-Generalâ€™s office latest by May 19, NIPOST management failed to obey this directive,â€ he added.
â€œThe list as at today, is yet to be submitted and payment to retirees in other offices that complied with the directive has commenced.Â We appealed to the National Assembly, to intervene in this matter and save us from further miseryâ€, he said.
â€œWe have lost over 15 colleagues to hunger while a host of others have died due to lack of money for treatment of different illness and the money due to them as pension benefits remained unpaid.
We are appealing to the National Assembly, the Head of Federal Civil Service and NIPOST management to use their good offices to look into our plight and intervene in order to save those of us who are still managing to live,â€ they added.