The National Union of Pensioners (NUP), the Federal Colleges of Education extraction has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the appropriate authorities to urgently release the funds budgeted for payment of the outstanding arrears of the year 2009 33 per cent pension increase.
A statement signed by south- west zonal chairman of the Federal Colleges of Education Component of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Doctor Stephen Akinnifesi Fatusin, said the union was aware that for the umpteenth time, the federal government had budgeted funds for this purpose without results.
The senior citizens said in 2017, more than N55billion was approved and released for offsetting of 33 per cent arrears but they were not paid.
Fatusin said despite media information quoting the House of Representatives committee chairman on pension, Honourable Shekarau as saying that such amount of money has been approved, Pension Transition Administrative Directorate (PTAD) denied the claim thereby forcing Shekarau to swallow his words.
While alleging that there was connivance between the Accountant General of the Federation, the finance ministry and PTAD to short change them, the pensioners called on the president to wade into the issue, and prevent them from dying in penury.
Fatusin while reacting to the proposed distribution of over $300 million recovered Abacha loot, begged president Buhari to consider it more morally sound to settle the nine-year old debt owed pensioners first since they also fall in the category of the poorest in the nation.
He said several of them were sick and required urgent medical attention to avoid needless trauma or even death.
The chairman said not less than 15 pensioners in Ondo, 12 in FCE, Abeokuta, 16in FCE, Akoka, Lagos, 14 in FCE, Oyo, 12 in FCE, Umunze, five in Alvan Ikoku , Oweri, 17 in FCE, Asaba, 11 in FCE, Port Harcourt, 14 in FCE, Obudu, Cross River, seven in FCE, Technical, Gusau, 13 in FCE Zaria, 12 in FCE, Technical, Bichi , Kano, eight in FCE, Katsina, 13 in ATC, Azare, have needlessly lost their lives in the last one year due to lack of money to foot medical bills.
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