Owing retired civil servants their pensions and gratuities under any guise is an atrocity.
HRH Igwe SJ Idu, the chairman of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, pensioners’ association, stated this during the end-of-year-party of the association held Thursday at Nsukka.
According to him, “It is an atrocity to owe pensioners. Our pension is our rights. We shouldn’t thank anybody for paying our pensions. Some governments, like states and LGAs owing pensioners, are insensitive.
“They make it their prerogative to pay pensioners. I’m sad whenever I see our leaders boasting that they pay pensions. Unfortunately, some governors owe pensioners for years.”
The Royal Father also appealed to governments at all levels to make health services free for pensioners, considering that ‘old age comes with health challenges’.
In his words, “Retirees should have free medical treatment across board. Pensioners spend a lot to treat their health needs. Old age comes with health challenges.
“Some of us that retired from the university should also be considered for free health services at the university medical centres.
“Also, when salaries of workers are being reviewed, pensions should also be reviewed. Generally, we are forgotten.”
He also made a case for special consideration for children and wards of pensioners seeking admission into universities.
He said, “Our children seeking admission should not be made to face the rigours of admission, in terms of cut-off marks. It is unfair denying them admission when we have paid the price.”
Igwe Idu however said pensioners of the UNN are not being owed, adding that, “We shouldn’t be owed because it is our right. It is the obligation of the federal and state governments to pay pensioners.”