A Civil Society Organization (CSO), under the aegis of ‘Save Enugu Group,’ has slammed Enugu State Government for owing pensioners who have put 35 years or more into civil service.

 

The Coordinator of the Group, Chief Willy Ezeugwu who said this in an interview with a national daily, also noted that the state has not been able to pay them but the lawmakers were able to look at five people who are to be taking not less than N2bn annually.

 

Chief Ezeugwu who is also the Secretary-General of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties asked, “Where do we have that kind of money”?

 

“Are we an oil-producing state? Do we produce anything in Enugu State for export or is it the same money they go to Abuja to share every month that they want to use for it,” he further queried.

 

The Coordinator who was expressing opposition to the clandestine plot to re-introduce the  controversial Ex- Governors and Deputies Pension noted, “That is why we said no; it is inhuman and satanic. It can never happen no matter how they manipulate the people. It will never work. The people are wiser now”.

 

However, the Sponsor of the ill fated Pension Bill for Ex-Governors and Deputies and Leader of Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu explained that the issue of pensions and gratuities didn’t start today.

 

“I am not speaking for the executive but as a leader of the House who knows what is happening within the system. The present government earmarked a minimum of N100m every month for this purpose, meaning that depending on the receipt of Internally Generated Revenue or federal allocation, it could be higher.

 

“Then a system brought to bear for fairness is FIFO – First In, First Out. So, the government is not insensitive. Are the former governors not our people, just like the pensioners and our constituents? Do we have to ostracise them for having served”?

 

He however said: “This is why a lot of people who are in business wouldn’t even want to leave their comfort zone to come into government. The earlier we start encouraging such people to come, the better for everybody because nobody gives what he or she doesn’t have”.


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