Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu
Pensioners in Imo State have threatened a showdown with the state government on January 5, 2017, if Governor Rochas Okorocha fails to commence the full payment of their pension arrears.
Okorocha recently announced plans to pay only 40 per cent of pension arrears.
The pensioners had taken to the streets of Owerri, the Imo State capital, on December 21 to protest against the proposal.
Restating their opposition to the proposed partial payment at a news conference in Enugu, the pensioners demanded immediate and full payment of their pension arrears.
The senior citizens announced the plans to shut down the entire state on January 5 if the demand was not met.
The Chairman, Imo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Chief Gideon Ezeji, who addressed journalists in company with the chairmen of other state chapters in the South-East, said the pensioners would not back down on the demand for their full benefits.
“If Rochas fails to heed our appeal to start paying the arrears immediately, if by January 5 nothing happens, we will come out on the streets again,” Ezeji warned.
Ezeji noted that Imo pensioners were among the least paid in the country, as, according to him, the state government had not implemented any increment in pensions since 2000.
“Imo State pensioners demand 100 per cent payment of their pension arrears. Since the year 2000, Imo pensioners have not received any increment,” Ezeji said.