The Nigerian Union of Pensioners in Cross River State has alleged that certain pensioners in the State have been colluding with fraudulent government officials to perpetuate pension frauds against themselves.
The Public Relations Officer of the Union, Amor Ekpatta also lamented that there have been no accurate verification exercises in the State, making the state government to declare that many pensioners were dead whereas they were hale and hearty.
Last year, countless senior citizens who were declared dead by the government took to the streets and blocked the Murtala Mohammed Highway in Calabar where they sat on chairs and laid on mats for several hours.
Ekpatta was guest on a private radio station, SPARKLING FM to mark world pensioners day, where he reeled out their plights, insincerity of pension fund managers and government officials.
“There have been many sharp practises perpetrated by fellow pensioners who collude with government officials to defraud other senior citizens. It is painful and frustrating,” he said.
He lamented that since 2014, gratuities have not been paid to pensioners in Cross River State.
He alleged, however, that there were reports that certain pensioners from a certain part of the State have been selectively paid.
Ekpatta said, however, that the present governor, Prof Ben Ayade is paying monthly pensions.
“Since 2014, the state has not paid gratuities. We have met several times over this worrisome situation.
“Government gave assurance two years ago but up till now, nothing is coming up. The backlog of seven years of the unpaid gratuities is really huge. Many of the senior citizens are so weak, sickly and many have died without collecting their gratuities,” he lamented.