By Aishat Salihu
Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday, commenced verification of pensioners in the state while assuring pensioners that they would no longer go through pains in receiving their monthly stipends.
The governor, speaking at the Government House in Owerri during the exercise, disclosed that he had introduced biometric capturing of the data of retired civil servants to end the menace of ghost pensioners in the state as well as end the agony of pensioners.
Ihedioha who was represented by his Chief Technical Adviser, Mr. Pascal Madu, said that he would begin the payment of the arrears of senior citizens of the state three days after the exercise had been concluded.
He also expressed sadness at the stress pensioners go throw in accessing their monthly pensions after years of retirement.
The governor, however, expressed delight at the speed the exercise was progressing, stressing that out of the estimated 30,000 pensioners in the state, about 14,000 had been captured.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, Austin Chilapko, advised that in order not to prolong the agony of the pensioners, the government should combine the verification and data capturing exercises simultaneously with the payment of those whose data had been captured.
His advice was also echoed by the chairman of pensioners in the state, Josiah Ugochukwu, who said that his colleagues were not ready to wait for weeks anymore before they start getting their pensions.
Ugochukwu, therefore, enjoined the state government and pensioners to take expedited actions in order to resolve the lingering pension issue in the state.