The Association of Contributory Retirees in Delta State has accused the Association of Local Government of Nigeria Delta State of deducting N4 million from each of their take-home benefits.
The retirees in a protest letter signed by the Chairperson, ACR (Primary School), Chief Mrs. Ejeih Chionye, and Secretary, Prince Otuwede J.O, respectively, decried the ill-treatment being meted on them by the Oborevweri-led Government.
The letter read in part “The governor, Sheriff Oborevwori should stop his plan of using ALGON to deduct the sum of N4 million from each pensioners gratuity/pension take home because of the N40 billion he guaranteed ALGON to borrow for the purpose of paying the backlog of the gratuities.
“We will continue protesting over this deduction. This is the 12th since the agitation for the payment of Retirees gratuities and pensions began”
They alleged that ALGON is extorting a whooping of N4 million from each of their take-home benefits.
Responding to the allegation, the Chairman ALGON, Mr Victor Ebonka, on Wednesday denied deducting N4 million from retired local government workers and primary school teachers in the state.
He described the allegations as outright falsehoods and challenged the retirees behind the allegation to invite any investigating authority into the matter.
The ALGON boss said the N40 billion loan facilitated and guaranteed by the state government on behalf of ALGON, was meant to pay accrued benefits of retired local government workers, primary school teachers, and staff of the Local Education Authorities.
According to him, the retired teachers’ union and the National Union of Local Government Employees in the state were all involved in the tripartite negotiations with the Secretary to the State Government on the issue.
He said all parties agreed that the services of a consultant were necessary due to the huge amount involved in order to correctly determine the entitlement of each retiree.
“The first meeting we had was at the SSG’s office. We made it known to them that we cannot pay this huge amount without engaging the services of an actuary to determine each retiree’s entitlement and the consultant was introduced to them.
“The Consultant discovered a lot of missing and wrong information in the data used to compute the previous Accrued Rights
“The Consultant further discovered that the previous pension benefits were calculated using a Mandatory Retirement Age (MRA) assumption of 45 years instead of 60 years of age or 35 years of service as stipulated in the Civil Service Law,” he said.