The Chairman, Association of Retirees and PFA Pensioners, Lagos State, Michael Omisande, has said Lagos State is indebted to people who retired between 2018 and 2021 by over N30b due to non-payment of their benefits.
He revealed this, yesterday, at a press briefing on the pains of retirees in Lagos State.
He said because of the problem, some of the affected retirees have died or are being afflicted by diverse ailments. He said others have been evicted from their apartments.
He said the association wrote several letters to the state governor to draw his attention to the ugly situation but not much came out of the efforts.
He, therefore, called on government to urgently pay all outstanding arrears, which have accumulated for the past three to four years. He also demanded that government pay accrued interest on entitlements and upgrade the pension of all contributory pensioners.
Omisande said: “We submitted a memorandum to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and all stakeholders on how it was, how it is and how it ought to be. But the governor kept mute on these issues. Recently, we wrote a petition to the governor on our plight. There was no response. We have served him a reminder, which has not been responded to.
“In the petition, we complained of delay in payment and poor remuneration of contributory pensioners, where the average payment of a junior retiree is N7000 per month for life and in the senior category, a director earns an average of N70,000 per month for life. But for pensioners in the old scheme, a director earns an average of over N200,000 in the same state.”
He added: “Where the government borrowed the scheme from, the elderly are well treated and are feeding well. When a programme is introduced in a state and implemented for some time, there should be a feedback mechanism to know if it is achieving the state’s objective. Where it is not, it should be reviewed.
“We are quite aware that Lagos is the richest state in Nigeria. There must be a problem somewhere, which must be addressed. If governors in states like Borno can pay off all their outstanding pension liabilities, why can’t Lagos pay and address the issue of death of retirees and pensioners, once and for all.”