Saturday, June 15, 2019

‘They forget that they will one day be like us’, rain-drenched pensioners tell govt after verification exercise

‘They forget that they will one day be like us’, rain-drenched pensioners tell govt after verification exercise
June 29
21:28 2016

Pensioners, drenched in rain and shivering, on Monday waited for more than eight hours outside Oba Akinjobi old secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos, for a verification exercise that saw the collapse of at least four senior citizens.

It was aimed at identifying pensioners in the civil service to facilitate the payment of their benefits and entitlements, and also to flush out ghost pensioners.

Pensioners 1

Pensioners hobble in the rain to the location of the screening

But the exercise turned a gruelling one, with overstretched queues and senior citizens having to stand for as long as eight hours, yet not being attended to.

On Tuesday, they were eventually informed that the exercise had been cancelled.

A pensioner, in obvious anguish as he spoke to TheCable, said “they forget that one day they will grow up to be in our shoes and only then will they understand what this feels like”.

pensioners 5

An aged woman awaits her turn

Another pensioner, with teary eyes, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, said he came all the way from Ondo state and spent a lot to transport himself, yet the exercise was cancelled.

“People have been here since 7:00 am and now you tell us to go home, that we will be contacted if anything comes up; even though we were not contacted when the decision was made. How are we to believe that?” he asked.

Pensioners 2

One witness lamented the situation, saying older citizens need not be put through such distress.

“I saw people old enough to be my grandparents standing on long queues, soaking wet, all in the name of getting verified,” says Michael Olatubosun, a man who witnessed Monday’s sufferings of the aged former workers.

“Some could not stand for long due to health issues but they were not given a choice; they were forced to queue and this led to them being carried away in ambulances.

“This excuse is unacceptable; something needs to be done to help ease the process of verification. I hope this break is to help put things in order and make the verification exercise stress-free and better because this people have given the best of their years to the country and they need to be treated right.”

A man simply identified as Akintola, an official of the Lagos state government, said the order to suspend the exercise came “from above”.

He apologised for the inconvenience and said he received the order late, so it could not have been disseminated earlier.


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1 Comment

  1. Tumini Herbert
    Tumini Herbert June 30, 01:29

    I remember the day I told a serving Brigadier General of the Nigerian Army in 1996, when I saw retired Brigadier generals during a military Pensioners verification exercise, that it was a shame for the Nigerian military; “The custodians of the nation’s conscience” to be found this corrupt; that Brigadier Generals like him are forced out to the open field under rain and sun shine to be verified before they are paid their pensions.

    I told him that seeing what we are experiencing now, I could do better than him if I were still serving with half his rank and there will be no need for this wasteful exercise. And so that I don’t retire into this same ugly situation, considering the number of deaths we record in road/boat mishap accidents all on account of verification exercise! All for peanut pensions while idle civilians sit in air-conditioned offices and steal billions of Naira on account of ghost pensioners who don’t work, but pensioned, don’t die in road/boat mishaps en-route to verification exercises nor queue up days on end at V. Canters under Rain/sun!

    He was so pained that were I still been serving, he would have devoured/dealt with me severely! But he walked away dejected as he looked at the angry faces of retired soldiers ready to eat him raw! The pension’s administration and the ghost workers syndrome in Nigerians is the home of all institutionalized corruption in the country!

    The day Nigeria cures itself this endemic arm of the Nigerian institute of corruption that’s the day Nigeria will be born again! Otherwise, all these noises about anti-corruption jargon is rubbish! I remember how many ghost workers GEJ weeded out; yet Buhari came to weed even more though confused with propaganda!

    I know the virus still remains and strives on! The government at every level aids and abets this wicked societal canker-worm of the Nigerian civil service! The 8th Senate and the Presidency should search itself thoroughly before pointing fingers on this matter particularly considering the budget padding debacle on the part of the presidency!

    Till tomorrow one-third of all Federal and state government wage bills are paid to ghost workers who don’t ever work but retires to continue with every ease to drain the national treasury! I need to see this administration’s blue print plans to curb this monster/national menace that “Robs Peter to pay Paul”!

    That is of course, it will take a sincere government to achieve the required value for this exercise! This will mean that for every number of ghost workers weeded out, equivalent Nigerian unemployed are immediately employed to fill those positions recovered: we will be failing if like the present/previous administrations have done, we after mopping-up such money dump it into its licking basket-Central bank!

    ONLY “The Forensic Federal/State Employment/Wage Analysis and Review Agency” A creation of an original thought process of Shakaban, which he only can perfect in Nigeria of today! If you can do better, please challenge this idea! I know I have told you what can be done but not how it can be done; that’s the challenge!

    The ghost worker/pensioner syndrome is the bane of unemployment problem in the country! If we do clinical forensic analysis/review of the entire Federal/State government pay roll/wages bills in Nigeria and device a fool proof survey, check, balance of wage management and control system/policies; we would be able to open 7,000,000 old job vacancies per year! Meaning old job positions already in existence/occupied by and paid to ghosts workers.

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