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Anambra State House of Assembly has launched an inquiry into circumstances leading to alleged release of ₦500 million meant for payment of arrears of pensions owed primary school teachers between 2002 and 2003.
Findings by The Eastern Updates revealed that the sum was purportedly released, but not paid to beneficiaries, some of whom are dead.
This came even as indications emerged that the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, inherited six years arrears of gratuities owed members of the state and local council staff.
While commending Soludo for promising, in his 2022 May Day speech, to liquidate the arrears of retirement benefits by installment at ₦300 million, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Dr. Augustine Ugozor, called for upward review in retirees’ benefits.
Ugozor, a former Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), lamented that some pensioners collect peanuts of ₦2,000 monthly.
He pointed out that Section 210 (3)provides for an upward review of pensions or whenever there is salary review, whichever that comes first.
The House Committee on Public Petition, headed by the member representing Orumba North State Constituency, Emeka Aforka, was scheduled to meet with representatives of NUP yesterday.
It was further learnt that some officers being probed over their involvement in the said missing fund are long dead, while some are incapacitated on account of health challenge.
Speaking to reporters, Ugozor said the union had to involve the legislature to ensure immediate settlement of the arrears.
Corroborating him, the Assistant Secretary of the state NUP, Uchenna Onwuka, said referring the matter to the state legislature is because it has powers to investigate the matter.