Local Government Councils pensioners in Niger on Friday protested the non-payment of their over three years benefits by the state government.
Mr Muhammad Edugi, Chairman, Pensioners Solidarity Movement (PSM) in the state, made this known in Minna, when he led the group on peaceful protest to the state Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs.
“The PSM have watched with great concern the scenario, in which pensioners are unable to access their full retirement benefits from the pension board since the amended pension law of October, 2017,” he said.
Edugi appealed to the state government to pay their entitlements from October 2017 to October 2020.
He said that the pension board started paying 30 per cent gratuity with gross underpayment and later on stopped payment without any reason.
The Group’s Leader alleged that the 30 per cent payment of gratuity was in violation of the amended pension law of October 2017 in the state.
He called on government to stop payment of the pensioners two weeks into the preceding month and harmonise it with that of the payment of the state workers.
Edugi demanded that 7.5 per cent contributions by the pensioners with the Pension Funds Administrators must be refunded back to the contributors in accordance with the amended law of 1992 of the state.
He urged the government to pay death gratuities to late pensioners, saying that it was another area of great concern to the families of their deceased colleagues.
Reacting, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, assured the group that he would forward their demand to the Commissioner, Mr Abdulmalik Daji as he was not on seat.
Aliyu thanked the pensioners for embarking on peaceful protest to demand their benefits.
Also responding, Alhaji Usman Ahmed, Director-General of the state pension board, said that the state government was working toward making funds available to pay the pensioners.
Ahmed appealed to the group to be patient as government was doing everything possible to tackle all pension issues in the state.
“As soon as we get funds we will start payment and we arranged it in such a way that they will be paid in batches,” he said.
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