Kaduna Polytechnic Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Polytechnics Pensioners has given Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, three weeks ultimatum to pay them or face mass protest.
The Pensioners also said most of their members had died due to non-payment of 42 months of the 33 per cent increase of pension arrears.
The pensioners said failure to settle the arrears between 2010 and 2013 had plunged and jeopardized their lives.
Chairman of the association, Mr. Zacchaeus Adedokun, who disclosed this during a press briefing in Kaduna Monday, said if the 42 months arrears of 33 per cent had been paid, “It is most likely that the deaths might have been averted.”
While disclosing that the lives of those sick were threatened due to their inability to treat themselves, Adedokun said the pensioners were calling on both the governments and Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, (PTAD) to reduce pensioners’ problems by timely paying their monthly pension.
He explained, ”Many retirees have died needlessly while waiting hopelessly for the release of their pension/gratuity.
“It is clear that it is not demons or spirits that are responsible for this abnormality but human beings who are colleagues of such retirees be they career officers or political appointees.
“Many, if not almost all have their children withdrawn from school, for lack of money to pay their school fees and other academic requirements.
“The nonpayment of death benefits to the next of kins and the balance of 33 percent pension increase arrears with effect from July 1, 2009 to the time of their death have not been met. Unfortunately, some of the next of kins died while waiting to collect their spouse’s death benefit which unfortunately has not been paid till this moment.
“The situation is quite unfortunate and pathetic. This has brought to the rest of the members of the family untold hardship.
“Some of them were management staff who have labored and utilized all their strength to the growth of this nation, now retired and have not been paid. Do we now say this is a country that belongs to all of us?
“They were made to go through this agony for no just cause. Many of them because of non-payment of their gratuity could not vacate their official residence and were later being humiliated with letters of ejection from their official quarters by their employers.
“The habit of regarding pensioners as second class citizens and therefore releasing their monthly stipends almost at the middle or end of the second month will no longer be acceptable to us.
“In other countries, governments do pay pensioners even before workers’ salaries are paid which symbolizes total respect to the senior citizens of such country, but that is not the case in Nigeria.
“Presently, pensioners in this country particularly those in the Polytechnics sector are being treated with disrespect and impunity.
“When would those who have toiled and brought this nation to an enviable status among the committee of nations be rewarded, compensated or recognized?” he queried.