12 Years Unpaid Benefits: Some Taraba Pensioners Killed By Hunger, Pain; Many Thrown Out Of Rented Homes While Gov Ishaku, Deputy Get Jumbo Allowances – Senior Citizens

 Due to the non-payment of retirement benefits to pensioners, some senior citizens in Taraba State have died, SaharaReporters learnt on Tuesday.

It was further learnt that several others had been thrown out of their rented houses, while Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku and Deputy Governor Haruna Manu continue to enjoy jumbo allowances.

Taraba Governor Darius Ishaku

SaharaReporters learnt that the state government has failed to pay gratuity to pensioners for 12 years. The government has also in the past 10 years refused to enrol over 1,000 retirees into the pension scheme.

“This has brought untold hardship, causing the death of several pensioners, while other retirees were thrown out of their rented residences,” the spokesperson for the pensioners, Yusuf Salihu Sansani said.

Speaking to our correspondent, Sansani said, "All efforts to get government's attention kept hitting a brick wall. The last time the deputy governor, Haruna Manu sat with our committee, we were asked to articulate the issues, which we did but to no avail.

"Imagine that the Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Albasu Kunini, who attended the sitting told us that there were no funds because even the 7th and 8th Assembly Members were yet to get their own severance gratuities.

"On gratuity, payment stopped on those who retired in 2010 to date, which is 12 solid years after leaving the service; for all these long years while workers retire every day, the backlog of gratuity for retired civil servants in Taraba State is estimated at over N30 billion.

"As we speak, many of our members have died because they could not afford medical care. Others have been evicted from their rented apartments and their children withdrawn from schools due to lack of money.”

"We are being treated this badly after serving the state for 35 years, yet politicians continue to feed fat, projecting a flamboyant lifestyle," he added.

The pensioners have, however, threatened to boycott the 2023 general elections.

 

But the spokesperson for the governor, Bala Dan Abu, denied the allegations, saying pensioners in the state were being paid their benefits in batches.

"Due to paucity of resources, the government is paying gratuity in batches; I can confirm that N100 million is being expended on a monthly basis to address the backlog of inherited retirement benefits," he said.

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