Some pensioners in Nasarawa State have decried the selective and piecemeal payment of their gratuity by the State Government.
The pensioners, who preferred anonymity, made this allegation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lafia.
According to the pensioners, it is only when you are related to someone in the pension bureau or have the blessing of a top government official that you can get your gratuity.
They alleged that some of them, who retired in 1995 prior to the creation the state, were yet to get their gratuity more than 21 years after the emergence of the state.
One of them said: “Some of us, who retired from active service more than 10 years ago, are yet to be given our gratuity, but those with ‘godfathers’ who retired just in 2016 have received their gratuity.
“What is the justification for paying people who retired in 2016 and leaving those who retired more than 10 to 21 years ago?”
They also claimed that pensioners, who were lucky to be shortlisted for payment, get their gratuity piecemeal of N100,000.
The pensioners, therefore, implored the State Government to address the uneven development and ensure that they are not shortchanged.
However, when contacted, Abdullahi Sani-Oseze, the Director-General, Nasarawa State Pension Bureau, debunked the allegation.
Sani-Oseze, told NAN that the management of the bureau was working round the clock to ensure that pensioners get their gratuity as soon as funds are released.
The director-general, however, admitted that gratuity was being paid piecemeal due to insufficient funds.
He explained that the part payment of N100,000 to pensioners was to enable them meet up their responsibilities for Christmas.
Sani-Oseze stressed that the state governor felt that the retirees would need some money at this period of time to meet their family needs, hence they were being paid bit by bit.
He said: “Each of the 2,151 pensioners on our list was currently collecting the N100,000 part payment of their gratuity base on the directive from the governor.
“The governor has released N215,100,000.00 for this exercise.”
Effort to speak with Umaru Adoga, the Nasarawa State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, proved abortive as he was said to be indisposed.