Frustrated by the non-payment of their entitlements in the last 10 years members of the Retired Staff Association of the NNPC on Sunday called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to come to their rescue.
Vice-Chairman of the Lagos State branch of the pensioners association, Femi Johnson, while briefing newsmen on Sunday called on Osinbajo to help ensure they are paid so as to save their lives and end the sufferings of those still managing to survive.
Earlier in the month, the Federal Government approved the release of N27.tln for the payment of outstanding debts which it owed contractors, pensioners and oil marketers over the last 20 years.
Making the declaration on Wednesday, July 12, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said “the Federal Executive Council approved the Ministry of Finance’s proposed validation process to ensure that beneficiaries were paid through the issuance of liquid promissory notes of 10-year tenure.
The minister said government was determined to resolve a number of inherited and long outstanding Federal Government’s obligations to contractors, state governments and employees.
Reacting to the approval to pay contractors and oil marketers, NNPC pensioners enjoined the Federal Government to also put pensioners of the state-run oil company into consideration as many had not been paid in the last 10 years.
Vice-Chairman of the Lagos State branch of the pensioners association, Femi Johnson, said life had been unbearable for most of the 1,200 NNPC pensioners in Lagos and about 12,000 nationwide as their meagre entitlements had not been paid for more than a decade.
Johnson expressed regret that many had died in frustration while those still living were virtually becoming walking corpses.
“Most of us cannot even take care of medical expenses in orthodox hospitals and now go to take alternative medicines in our old ages with the attendant risks.
“Many have been chased out by their landlords as they had piled up astronomical rents which they cannot pay.
“Our children have been sent out of schools and we just can’t make ends meet.
“Truth is that many of us are now even praying for death as life has become meaningless,’’ he said.
Johnson called on the Acting President to look into the issue, and ensure that the situation was salvaged without further delay.
He explained that since government was magnanimous enough to release money for the payment of contractors and oil marketers, it should extend its milk of human kindness to the NNPC pensioners who spent most of their useful lifetime serving the nation, many at the risk of their lives. –NAN