Protest in Bauchi over delay in pension payment
Pensioners in Bauchi state on Tuesday besieged the office of the State Accountant-General to protest the delay in the payment of their pension for the month of February.
The pensioners expressed their displeasure over the delay in the payment of their entitlements in spite of the fact that they had been verified in the on-going verification of workers and pensioners in the state.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the issue, Zonal Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Bauchi South , Alhaji Adamu Ibrahim, said that more than 7,000 retirees were yet to receive their February pension.
He said that most of them had already been verified to be genuine pensioners and had presented their Bank Verification Numbers to the relevant authorities
“We are protesting to find out why we were not paid our February salaries, despite the fact that we had been verified,” he said.
He lamented that his members, most of them very old, had been made to converge in Bauchi for many days in this period of economic hardship.
“If our sufferings persist, we may be forced to conduct a congregational prayer to seek for Devine intervention,” he said.
When contacted for his comments on the issue, Malam Yakubu Mohammed, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media and Communication, told NAN that payment of all those verified had commenced.
He however explained that only those who fulfilled the verification conditions, one of which was the presentation of BVN, would be paid.
“The process of payment has just started and only those who have been verified would be paid.
“If anybody has fulfilled the verification conditions but is yet to be paid, it could be as a result of the bank process involved in payment.
“Such persons would soon receive their payment alert,” he assured.
It would be recalled that the state government had set up a committee to fish out ghost workers and pensioners on its payroll.
Alhaji Abubakar Gabi, State Accountant-General and also a member of the committee, had told NAN on Monday that they were making a lot of startling discoveries.
“We have discovered that names of children between eight and ten years of age appeared as ‘teachers’ on the payroll of the state.
“We also discovered that some of the pensioners duplicated their payment papers, had the same names, same BVN, same GSM numbers and same account numbers but bearing different photographs attached
“Again we discovered instances where deceased families who had earlier submitted death certificates of their heads and were paid bulk pension entitlements, fraudulently working their way back and are still collecting pensions,” he said.
The state government had on March 9, 2016, declared that it had so far discovered 19,241 ghost workers and saved N797.46 million from the on-going verification exercise.
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