A fresh crisis is brewing as retirees in Delta State under the aegis of Association of Contributory Retirees (ACR), as they issued a two-week ultimatum to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to offset their long overdue gratuities or face what they called “mother of all protests.”
While addressing journalists in Asaba on Thursday, the Secretary of the association, Mr. J. O Okproma, alleged that the retirees have been subjected to all sorts of indignities under the Okowa administration.
He disclosed that many members of the association have died without receiving their benefits, while those alive have become dejected and frustrated as a result of the failure of Delta state government to offset their pensions and gratuities.
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“The issue of harmonization came up as a result of the wrong use of the minimum wage of N8, 500 of 2006 salary structure in the computation of the terminal benefits of the workers of the state Public Service that is still being used till date instead of using the minimum wage of N18, 000 salary structure of 2010 when workers started to retire into the CPS in Delta State”, and lamented the persistent delay of the current administration in the implementation of the harmonization.
According to the Secretary, "To correct this disparity, after series of escalations, the Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan-led government yielded to logical reasoning and gave a nod for the revaluation of the accrued rights of employees and retirees in the state’s public service in line with the existing salary structure of 2010”, adding that the review exercise was completed and the report submitted to the state government and was approved.
"Its figures were to constitute the basis of payment of accrued benefit with effect from January 2015 but were put on hold due to lack of release of defrayal of accrued rights. On coming on stream of Okowa’s administration, the figures of the actuarial report of Messrs B. A Adigun and Associates that has been completed to meet emerging economic realities that may be occasioned by inflationary trends and other socio-political indices not envisaged was put to question and sent for further scrutiny/review to authenticate the figures there-in as directed by the current administration”
“Four years after, the Prof. Monye Committee set up by the Okowa’s government it has not been able to complete the actuarial review exercise," the association lamented.