Pensioners in Anambra State have lamented the disparity in their monthly pensions, urging Governor Chukwuma Soludo to correct the anomaly.
Pensioners in the state who retired before May 2011 minimum wage implementation have been receiving amounts smaller than their colleagues who retired after that date.
The state leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has, for years, been fighting for the harmonization, but without success.
A retired deputy director in the state civil service, Mr. Polycarp Onwubiko, who said he is affected by the disparity has made a passionate appeal to Governor Soludo to harken to the over ten years cry of the affected pensioners.
He called on the governor to direct the state Accountant General to implement the law on harmonization of pension which, he stated, stipulates that pension should be harmonized anytime a new minimum wage is introduced and that pension should be reviewed every five years.
Onwubiko said: “Some retired permanent secretaries are paid a misery N50,000 as monthly pension, while their counterpart who retired after May 2011 are being paid over N300,000.
“Also, a deputy director who retired on GL 15 is paid N59,000 monthly, while his counterpart who retired after May 2011 receives over N85,000.
“This gross injustice has been going on for over ten years and our governor needs to be reminded that pension harmonization is a law and therefore the affected pensioners have right to demand the accumulated arrears of pension harmonization with effect from May 2011 when the minimum wage was signed into law.
“It is sad to note that pension harmonization was last done in the state in 2020 by former Governor Chris Ngige who was touched by the plight of pensioners who went to the Government House to protest the refusal of his predecessor to harmonize pension”.
Meanwhile, Onwubiko has commended the governance template of Governor Soludo with respect to digitalization of the Internally Generated Revenue of the state and some other sectors of the economy.
He appealed to the governor to expedite action to complete the road projects in many communities abandoned by his immediate predecessor which have created monumental havoc due to unchecked flooding menace and erosion due to uncompleted road projects.
He also urged the governor to increase the amount of money given to communities for the execution of projects in their areas, stressing however that there is need for proper monitoring of such projects to ensure transparency and accountability.