The Rivers State Government says it has captured and documented 12,456 pensioners, whose names are now included into the state pension pay roll.
It however says that the recent protests by some pensioners in the state are orchestrated blackmail to paint the state government blacks, hence, the government will not yield to such campaign, insisting that the right thing must be done.
Speaking to newsmen at the weekend during a send forth and awards for 30 Permanent Secretaries who have retired from the services of the state government, Head of Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins, said the frequent protests by some sections of retirees in the state were malicious and deceitful.
He said, “Those who have retired have to go through the biometrics by submitting their documents individually and not as a mob to be physically captured, after which one is put into the pension pay roll. All those who have been captured voluntarily submitted themselves to do so”.
Reacting to the protest at Government House by the retirees a forthnight ago, the Head of Service said, “They are dramatising the issues and it seems there is a malicious campaign against the state government and we will not yield to it”.
He maintained that the State Government wanted to sanitise the system while at the same time introducing a less cumbersome process such that those who have served the state in one capacity or the other are honoured by having their benefits as at when due.
Barrister Godwins while thanking the Permanent Secretaries for their services to the state said they are retiring at a time the state government led by Chief Nyesom Wike placed premium on the services of those who have served the state meritoriously.
He disclosed that, “we have put in place whole lots of reforms but we are not loud about it”.
One of such reforms according to the Head of Service is such that Permanent Secretaries who have retired will enjoy “seamless” transition retirement, and will get their benefits without hassles.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the State Civil Service Commission, Chief Oris Onyiri has counseled retired Permanent Secretaries to seek ways of using their experience to the benefit of the state.
“There are so many areas of human endeavours that you can go into after retirement”, Onyiri counselld, “So you people are very important, and there is nothing to retire about, we still need you”.
By: Kevin Nengia.