Pensioners in Kogi State have accused the state government of embarking on selective payment of pensions for the month of March.
The selective payment started on Wednesday when a handful of the pensioners banking with First Bank, UBA and Union Bank reportedly got payment alerts for March pensions, but the majority had yet to be paid as of Friday.
The development, which is inflicting pain on the senior citizens, started in February when they were paid 70 per cent of their pension stipends.
Our correspondent gathered that the state government might have run out of funds after paying the civil servants.
There has been no word of explanation from the Director-General in charge of pensions in the state, Mrs Mariam Ahmed.
A visit to her office at the state secretariat complex by our correspondent yielded no result as she was said to be attending a meeting.
She also did not take her calls and had yet to reply to text messages sent to her mobile telephone.
Investigation revealed that those selected for payment were in the minority among pensioners in the state.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Asiru Idris, claimed recently that the government did not owe pensioners and attributed the current difficulty in payment to network failure, while giving an assurance that all pensioners would be paid.
“The delay in payment of March pensions is due to logistics problems of transferring the money from Access Bank to UBA,” Idris stated.
The commissioner, however, refused to respond to our correspondent’s inquiry regarding the delay three days after some pensioners had been paid.
A pensioner, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, lamented how retirees were being treated by the state government.
“I have been going to bed on an empty stomach for three nights and I don’t know what to do other than to resign to fate and await death,” he stated.
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