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Imo retirees reject Okorocha’s 50% pension slash

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Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri

The Imo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners has rejected a move by the state government to slash monthly pensions by 50 per cent.

Our correspondent gathered that the state government had designed a form directing pensioners to sign an undertaking that only 50 per cent of their monthly pensions would be paid to them by the government.

But the members of the Imo State chapter of NUP, comprising branch chairmen and secretaries from the 27 Local Government Areas of the state, rejected the proposal during a meeting in Owerri, on Saturday.

The state government and NUP are currently in court over a similar directive by the government last December when the government called for 60 per cent reduction in pensions.

A member of the Imo NUP, Boniface Echefu, who is from Isiala Mbano LGA, said the group must guide its members against signing the undertaking which would mean that only 50 per cent of their monthly pension would be paid them.

He said that it was unlawful for the state government to go against the country’s Pension Act by cutting pensions indiscriminately.

The group, in its resolution, stated that it rejected in its entirety the offer of 50 per cent monthly pension by the government, saying ‘we also reject government’s claim that it has cleared all arrears of pensioners fully’.

The state chairman, Imo NUP, Gideon Ezeji, expressed regret that the government came up with what he called ‘another obnoxious measure’ to further expose pensioners to more hardship, while pensioners were still grappling with last year’s issue.

“This is coming on the heels of a similar obnoxious directive in December 2016 directing pensioners to write an undertaking that only 40 per cent of their accumulated pension arrears will be paid them, thereby forfeiting 60 per cent to government,” Ezeji cried.

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