Kogi State pensioners cry foul over the government’s abrupt screening directive.
The Kogi State government recently blindsided pensioners by directing them to present themselves for screening from January 19-25, leaving many of the elderly former civil servants concerned and outraged.
“We want the world to know that in most local government areas there are no banks in operation. In this harsh economic situation, what are we going to do when we all are looking for money to feed our families?” said one anxious pensioner, speaking anonymously for fear of retribution.
“There is nothing bad if Government wants to know those pensioners that are on their pay roll, but what we are not happy about is the timing,” Ohida declared. “We have continued to complain about the timing.”
According to the government’s shocking announcement, pensioners on local and state government payrolls must go to the nearest bank to verify their status.
But Clement Ohida, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) Kogi State Chapter, asserted the union isn’t against screening per se, just the abrupt timing of it.
He explained many pensioners likely exhausted their savings over the long holiday period and now lack funds to travel significant distances solely for screening purposes.
The NUP consequently requested that the screening window be extended beyond the seven days currently allotted.
“NUP Kogi has appealed to the Government to pay January pensions before going into any verification,” Ohida said. “Also we requested for two week grace to carry out this process.”