By VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
TALES of woe from Federal Government retirees in Lagos, have continued to elicit emotional reactions as the retired civil servants battle to draw attention of government to their plight.
Felicia Ndelegbu and Afolabi Shotimbo, who were at the Lagos Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Yaba office for the recent election of officials of the Federal Civil Servants branch, Lagos, of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, told Pension and You, their predicament.
According to Felicia Ndelegbu: “I retired from the Ministry of Defence in 1991 after 30 years service. To the glory of God, I have been paid my gratuity and I have been on pension since then. But surprisingly, last year November, they stopped paying me my pensions. Nobody has been able to explain to me why my pension was stopped.”
“I was paid last in November and from December last year till today, I have not received anything.
Wat I am hearing is that there was a fraud; that there were people who have defrauded us of our money. If people have defrauded government of the money, government should go after them and pay us our money. We did not appoint them and we must not be made to suffer because of that.
Since then, God has been sustaining me and has been kind to me and has been carrying me along. God has been using my children to sustain me.”
For Afolabi Shotimbo, of Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, downsized by the Olusegun Obasanjo government in 2006′ after 22 years of service, “In 2008, we were paid gratuity. Since then, we were not paid pension arrears until 2010, when a task force came to the Federal Civil Service, Ikoyi, to capture our images. After then, they effected the first payment of our pension for November 2009.
All our arrears from 2006 till date have not been paid. We have filled a lot of forms, done a lot of capturing, verification exercises and a lot of our documents have gone to Abuja. We have equally gone there ourselves severally, nothing has been done to date.
We appeal to government to have mercy on us and pay our entitlements from 2006 to 2009. Now, our monthly pensions have been regular, but the arrears have not been paid.”