The Hope Newspapers

The Nigeria Labour Congress, Kogi State chapter, has indicted Desk Officers in charge of pension matters in the 21 local government areas of the state for massive extortions of pensioners.

Comrade Onuh Edoka, the state Chairman of NLC while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday warned desk officers across the local government areas to desist from extorting money and seeking any other form of gratification before processing documents of local government workers.

Edoka said it has come to the notice of the NLC in the state that officers saddled with the responsibility of handling the retirement documents of local government staff were demanding outrageous sums of money before attending to such officers.

The state NLC chairman noted that such practice was totally unacceptable, inhuman, fraudulent and also negates the rules and regulations of the Civil Service.

He condemned the actions of those engaging in this criminal acts, describing them as a great injustice, and also compounding the pains and agony of retiring officers who have been made to stay for several months upon retirement without accessing their monthly pensions and gratuities.

“We have concluded plans to interface with relevant stakeholders in the local government administration in the state with a view to fishing out those perpetrating the dubious acts against their fellow civil servants.

“NLC also gathered that the suspected desk officers are collecting within the range of N20,000 to N50, 000 from the retirees.

“We have gone to enlighten some of the officers and their colleagues that it is only time that has made them retire now and they should stop exploiting them because they too would retire someday maybe not as a desk officer in charge of retirement. That means they should be expecting those who would exploit them tomorrow.

”Workers in Kogi State should know what all of us are facing currently; salaries are not very regular, salaries are paid in a very low percentage of about 25 percent to teachers and even local government workers and you are asking your colleague to go and bring three times what he is earning as percentage salaries; it is inhuman.

“How do they now have justification to blame other persons in government that their policies are draconian? When even government has not given such policies and you are already implementing it against your colleague. This is total wickedness and should be condemned.

“Workers that are due for retirement, as well as those whose documents were being processed, should stop giving money when demanded. They should report such Desk Officers and their collaborators to the NLC and other appropriate agencies of government for necessary action.

“In our recent emergency meeting with Labour leaders in Kogi State on this matter, we asked the Nigeria Union of Pensioners to go back and warn the unions involved and to make sure that they don’t get their members entangled into any action to avoid being caught culpable because the union will not defend any person who begins to play ‘dog eat dog’ kind of thing,” the NLC Chairman added.

Comrade Edoka noted that the Organised Labour in the state was doing its best to check and prevent any form of infraction against workers, advising members of the union to complement efforts of the Labour leaders by avoiding untoward behaviours.

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