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Rigorous verification process is telling on our health, say pensioners

By NAN   |   18 February 2017   |   9:36 am  

Pensioners

Retired civil servants in Abia have described the process of verification of state pensioners as “cumbersome, unfriendly, rigorous, stressful and harmful” to their health.

The pensioners, some of whom are between the ages of 70 and 90, expressed the concern on Friday when they spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia.

NAN reports that the verification began on Monday. They said that going through the process on daily basis had subjected them to exhaustion and other inconveniences with telling effect on their health.

Mr Christopher Onyemachi, 77, who said that the exercise was not properly organised, said that it should have been organised in batches to avoid the large crowd and the attendant stress.

According to him, the bank handling the exercise should have drawn up a schedule so that people who retired during a specific length of time cand be verified in batches.

“They are using the verification to make us suffer.

“Why do they treat old men so unkindly? Is there no better way of doing the verification to save us the trouble we are passing through,” he asked .

An octogenarian pensioner, Mr Thomas Nwosu, also described hsi Friday experience during the exercise as the worst since the exercise began.

Nwosu, who said that the process was slow, further said that he though he submitted his form on Monday; he could not get his the serial number for his verification until Friday.

He expressed concern over the long queue that characterised the exercise adding he was not sure when it would get to his turn.

Also speaking, another pensioner, who identified himself simply as David, said that some of the retirees came from Port Harcourt, Owerri and Enugu for the exercise with the last money they had.

He said that many of them hoped that they would be paid at the venue of the exercise.

“Some of them had to beg for money to even buy sachet water and groundnut to keep life going at the venue of the exrcise,” David said.

David said that some retirees who had no transport fare to go back to their various destinations resorted to begging for assistance to accomplish the journey.

He further said that some retirees, earning as law as N1,000 pension monthly and could not cope with the rigours of the exercise stopped coming.

Mrs Ngozi Ukandu, 54, and another pensioner, who identified herself simply as Mrs Kalu, 57, said that pensioners were being ill-treated.

Ukandu said that it was sheer wickedness to treat men and women, who spent their productive ages in the service of the state a ‘’callous manner.’’

She wondered why pensioners in their 70s and above should be made to suffer.

The Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners(NUP), Chief Chukwuma Udensi, earlier in an interview with NAN, estimated the gratuities of retired state and local government civil servants in the state at over N22 billion.

Speaking on the verification in a telephone interview, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Bonny said that the procedure was for the pensioners to physically present for verification.

Iwuoha said that the essence was to eliminate the names of dead and ghost pensioners in the roster of pensioners.

He said that government had observed some fictitious names after the biometric capturing was conducted for pensioners and teachers last year, a development he said necessitated the exercise.

Iwuoha, who is also a retiree, appealed to his fellow pensioners to exercise patience and show greater understanding with the state government to ensure the success of the exercise.



  • vic

    MATTERS OF THE MOMENT

    RE: THE PTAD EXECUTIVE SECRETARY , BARRISTER SHARON IKEAZOR, IS JUST A BOGUS SHOWCASE WOMAN WITH A PLENTIFUL OF HER FAKE PUBLICITY STUNT ADDING TO THE PAIN AND MISERY OF FRAIL OLD AGE PENSIONERS IN NIGERIA WITH HER USELESS REPEAT VERIFICATION EXERCISES

    CALLS FOR FREQUENT VERIFICATION EXERCISE FOR THE OLD AGE PENSIONERS, BY THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF PTAD BARRISTER SHARON IKEAZOR IS ANOTHER KIND OF CORRUPTION AND FRAUD NOT TO TALK OF DELAYING TACTICS BY THE PTAD NOT TO PAY PENSIONS AND PENSION ARREARS IN TIME AS AND WHEN DUE

    VERIFICATION OF OLD AGE PENSIONERS SHOULD BE DONE ONLY ONCE. THEREAFTER , THE BANKS WHERE PENSIONERS ARE WITHDRAWING THEIR PENSIONS SHOULD BE ASKED TO CONFIRM WHETHER THE PENSIONER IS STILL ALIVE. THERE SHOULD BE NO REASON WHATEVER TO TELL THE AGED AND FRAIL PENSIONERS TO UNDERGO REPEAT VERIFICATION EXERCISES AS IS THE CASE NOW.

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT PTAD IS GAINING FINANCIALLY IN SOME WAYS IN THE REPEAT VERIFICATION EXERCISES FOR THE SAME PENSIONERS WHICH MUST STOP HENCEFORTH.

    PTAD WAS BROUGHT IN TO SIMPLIFY THINGS FOR PENSIONERS AND NOT TO ADD PAIN TO PENSIONERS WHO ARE ALREADY SUFFERING. ALSO THE CURRENT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF PTAD MRS SHARON IKEAZOR IS VERY A IRRESPONSIBLE WOMAN AND DOES NOT RESPOND TO THE COMPLAINTS AND QUERIES RAISED BY MANY PENSIONERS. MRS IKEAZOR THINKS, JUST BY SINGING SOLIDARITY SONGS WITH THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE NIGERIAN PENSIONERS UNION (NPU) IS ENOUGH TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF NIGERIA PENSIONERS.

    NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF PTAD, BARRISTER SHARON IKEAZOR, WHILE KEEPING HERSELF BUSY WITH THE PTAD PROPAGANDA IS WOEFULLY FAILING IN HER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES TO SIMPLIFY THINGS AND ALLEVIATE THE PLIGHT OF OLD AGE PENSIONERS WITH THEIR DAILY QUERIES ON THE NON-PAYMENT OF THEIR PENSIONS, GRATUITIES AND PENSION ARREARS OF ALL KINDS.

    IT IS NOW BECOMING CLEAR THAT MRS IKEAZOR IS JUST A PUBLICITY STUNT AND IS NOT TAKING HER JOB AND RESPONSIBILITIES SERIOUSLY. IF HER ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS PENSIONERS DOES NOT CHANGE VERY SOON, SHE MUST BE REPLACED BY SOME ONE WHO CAN DO THE JOB AND DOES NOT ADD PAIN TO THE LIVES OF ALREADY SUFFERING PENSIONERS IN THE COUNTRY.

    IT IS A WAKE UP CALL FOR THE BARRISTER SHARON IKEAZOIR BEFORE SHE IS SACKED BY THE PRESIDENCY.

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