Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday promised to clear the backlog of pensions owed genuine retired civil servants.
Speaking during a monitoring of the verification of the files of 29,000 pensioners at Government House, Owerri, he urged the people of the state to be patient.
He said: “We did promise that we are going to pay them but it is important that we verify those we are going to pay and I appreciate the patience they have displayed over the period as we make the needed efforts and sacrifices to ensure that we keep faith with our pensioners.”
Earlier, the Head of Service, Alma Eluwa and Chief Technical Adviser to the governor, Paschal Madu, told the governor that the capturing exercise was moving faster than estimated, stressing that it may be concluded in four days as against the two weeks earlier enmarked for it.
For his part, the state Chairmen of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Sir Josiah Ugochukwu and his Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) counterpart, Comrade Austin Chilakpo expressed satisfaction with the genuineness on part of the government to the welfare of the pensioners in the state, but appealed to the pensioners in the state to exercise patience with the government, pointing out that with what they have seen on ground, they are optimistic it would not take long for them to be paid.
Ugochukwu said, “From what we observed today, we are satisfied and better informed of what the government is doing. We commend the governor because he is starting and starting of anything is not very easy. He has to lay the foundation and build on that foundation. There is no doubt he has started well. He has said he loves the pensioners and we can see he is making genuine effort to carry us along.”
“Let us have hope and continue to believe in the government because from what we have seen, the governor and the present government have the pensioners at heart.” Chilakpo added.