By Chinonso Alozie
OwerriPensioners in Imo State yesterday alleged that the government was owing them 34 months pension arrears.
The Owerri branch chairman of the pensioners, Comrade Samuel Onyegbulam who spoke to Vanguard in Owerri during their protest, added that they would continue the protest on daily basis should Governor Rochas Okorochas administration fail to pay them their pension.
He added that the non-payment of the pension arrears varied.
He alleged that Imo state pensioners were owed for 47 months, while Nigeria civil service pensioners were owed 38 months.
In his calculation, N5.7billion was released to the governor to offset pension arrears in the state.
He subtly accused some of their members of sabotage, adding that some went and signed for the approval of N5.7 billion pension fund given Okorocha.
Onyegbulam said: The federal government released N12.6billion and ordered that pensioners must be there before this money must be released to the governor. Unfortunately, some pensionerswent and signed and the governor said he had given us N5 billion.
That is the first payment he had made since eight months and that is what triggered this demonstration. We are not happy he is owing the least worker in Imo 34 months arrears. Some are 17, some are 16 months arrears.
Imo Broadcasting Corporation, IBC, is being owed 47 months arrears. Nigeria civil service pensioners are owed 34 months. The Local Government Pension Board is 38 months.
What we are demanding for is payment of these arrears. He has agreed to earmark N5.7 billion to offset some of these arrears. So, let him release the fund.