Chief Effiong Orok, the Chairman of Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria (ARPON), Cross River Chapter, says 28 pensioners have so far died in the state awaiting the payment of their pension.
The chairman disclosed this on Friday in Calabar to newsmen, saying that many of their members had died without enjoying their retirement benefits.
"We are now appealing to the Federal Government to assist us as many of our members are dead in the process."
"At the centre of the whole episode are the pensioners, whose welfare the whole exercise is all about and who are left in the blizzard of suffering."
Orok appealed to the Federal Government to pay the retired police officers in the country, adding that 28 of their members' names were not on the pay roll.
"Many pensioners whose names were on the pay roll before the biometrics' verification of July 2011, do not see their names in the pay roll again. "
The chairman said that those whose names appeared were paid once in every three months, pointing out that "since the year started, we have been paid once."
Orok appealed to the Joint Senate Committee on Establishments, States and Local Governments, to be more proactive in pension fund matters so that retirees would not be suffering.
"It is our candid opinion that those fraudulent officials who steal pension funds do so because they are not supervised by those the laws give such responsibility. "
He said there was need for government to expedite action on the exercise and cause the money to be released as members were really suffering and dying in silence in their hamlets and villages.
Orok, however, said that the Federal Government should, at the conclusion of the current investigation, review the archaic pension laws as such laws were responsible for the fraud in the system.
"The expected pension law which the National Assembly will make should make pension one of the enforceable rights of the senior citizens with attendant heavy punishment for those who will violate such laws."
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government had, few weeks ago, released N24 billion to settle the arrears of pension of retired police officers.
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