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Pensioners commend Obiano on good governance

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PENSIONERS in Anambra State have commended Governor Willie Obiano  for living up to expectations on prompt payment of their  gratuity and pension since the inception of his administration.

Comrade Anthony Ugozor, the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), made the commendation in an  appraisal of successive administrators of the state since its creation 28 years ago.

He described Governor Obiano as “the most labour-friendly leader in terms of regular and timely payment of salaries and retirement benefits, if compared with all his predecessors,” stressing that the state was lucky to be blessed with committed leaders, so far, with the exception of former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s (Odera) era.

Comrade Ugozor remarked that Obiano’s government had increased the salaries of workers and released promotions, as well as ensured regular payment of gratuity and pension to retired workers, which endeared him to the people to mick-name him as “Alert Governor”, in addition to other incentives.

He emphasised that the state had recorded tremendous advancement within its 28 years’ existence in all ramifications and continued to enjoy socio-political and economic stability, crowned with sustained industrial harmony without any incidence of violent bloodshed, due to the amity and mutual dialogue in resolving disputes between the state government and workers.

On the expectations of NUP, Comrade Ugozor requested the governor to “uphold good governance and also urgently harmonise payment of pension for the sake of equity and justice,” explaining that some pensioners who retried on grade level 10 (GL.10) earn as low as paltry N2,000 as monthly pension, whereas others on same grade earn ten-fold that amount.

He lamented that the last pension harmonization exercise was conducted in 2003, during the short-lived Dr. Chris Ngige’s regime about 16 years ago, just as he appealed to the office of Head of Service to consider the sufferings of the retired staff of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC) being owed 32 months’ arrears of pension and leave allowances for many years, in order to liquidate the debt.

According to him, “the Federal Government’s share of pension of primary school teachers for 2002-2003 received and misappropriated by Mbadinuju’s administration have not been paid up till date.”

He further explained that ex-Governor Peter Obi paid 16 months out of the 24 months with 11 months still outstanding, despite repeated demands by labour, stressing that Obi had approved the payment before bowing out of office, in 2014.

Comrade Ugozor then appealed to Governor Obiano to look into the matter which he described as “very embarrassing and badly denting the good image” of the state government.

 

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