Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, met with the leadership of Abia State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), led by Comrade C N Udensi, to deliberate on his administration’s plan to ensure regular payment of pensioners and settlement of inherited outstanding.
At the meeting which held at the Government House in Umuahia, Governor Ikpeazu who made a detailed presentation on the financial status of the state to the pensioners, assured them that his administration considers the welfare of pensioners and other senior citizens a major priority.
He informed them of plans to ensure that pensioners are at par with other workers in the state MDAs who are up to date with salaries.
“I must confess that regular pension payment is one of the key issues that gives me sleepless nights as I believe that taking care of our senior citizens is a task that should be prioritized. Regular payment of pensions is therefore a challenge we must collectively meet and overcome.
“Having taken time to study the issues that led us to where we are today, we are ready to carry out a combination of actions that will ensure that we clear the outstanding, most of which pre-dated my administration, and put in place a sustainable regime of regular pension payment that will make it difficult for even future administrations to owe pensioners,” he said.
The Governor who pleaded for understanding and time to enable him execute the plan he presented to the pensioners, assured that pensioners will receive “three payments every two months until the outstanding is cleared”. He also promised to look into the issue of gratuities, as presented by the pensioners, and stated that with every new receipt of Paris Club refund he will personally ensure that pensioners are given a fair share.
In his response, the Chairman of Abia NUP, Comrade Udensi, assured the Governor of the confidence and continued support of members of the union to his administration’s quest to positively change the leadership narrative in the state.
According to him, “We are happy to note your revolutionary efforts in fixing the road infrastructure of the state and your other achievements in agriculture and education. We know you have what it takes to solve the pension payment problem and we are happy that you have a plan and have invited us to discuss it. We will continue to support and pray for you and those working with you because we know that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”.