Angry Pensioners has called out Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration over the non-payment of their pension and gratuity despite the Federal Government’s alleged release of over N250 billion to Delta State in oil derivation arrears.
In the video that surfaced on social media, the protesters on Monday, 28th November, stormed the streets of Delta State holding various placards demanding the payment of their pension.
One of the protesters, a woman, alleged that the governor has never paid any pensioner since he assumed his position in 2015.
“68 don die for only Warri South, more than 400 teachers don die, retirees (in Delta State). Okowa is owing the dead and the living and their blood will haunt him and his family and his agents.
“All we are saying, Okowa pay our money, 7 years, no payment. Since 2015 when Okowa entered, he has not paid anybody,” she said.
She was holding a banner that read, “Okowa where is the N250 billion given to you by President Buhari for pensioners?”.
The N250 billion the protester was referring to is the 23-year backlog for the 13 per cent oil derivation that the Federal Government allegedly paid to Delta State.
Recall, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State revealed on November 19 that President Muhammadu Buhari had released all oil derivation arrears which the Federal Government had not paid to the Niger Delta states since 1999.
“Let me say it, and I want the attorney general to thank Mr President for monies that were not paid to the Niger Delta states, from 1999, the 13 per cent derivation money that was not paid, Mr President approved and paid all of us in the Niger Delta States. And for me, it would be unfair not to tell the public. It is not money from FAAC. It is money paid to Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State, Edo State, Bayelsa State, Delta State, and I thank God,” Wike said.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Fidelis Tilije claimed in a statement that the state had only received N14.7 billion in three quarterly installments while an additional N30 billion from the N240 billion expected funds from the FG.
Giving a breakdown of the state’s debt profile, Tilije noted that N27 billion is for pension arrears, while N84 billion is money owed to contractors.
“Delta is the most solvent state in Nigeria which is why if we were to take a discounting of all the expected refunds from the FG, we will write off all the debt profile of Delta State clean without touching FAAC and IGR receipts which means that Delta is the only state that can write off all the debts and still run normally.
“Why are we not cleaning up the debt profile if we are so sure that the refunds from FAAC can clean it up? Okowa is a very conservative manager of resources,” he stated.