By Joseph Jibueze
CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pensioners have asked the management to pay their accrued arrears.
They urged the Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to also approve a general review of their pension.
ln a statement by their spokesman, Chief Chimezie Ahaneku, asked for a two-month pension gratis. This, they said, would cushion the adverse and harsh effects of COVID-19.
“As very elderly people, we are among the most vulnerable in the society and therefore deserve this benevolence and favour from CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pensioners have asked our former employer, which would …further cement the cordial relation between the bank and its pensioners,” he said.
They urged Emefiele to expedite the payment of their new pension and arrears. The statement reads: “We … implore you to kindly approve an immediate payment of at least two months’ pension gratis to all CBN pensioners, totalling 5,000, as an interim palliative measure.
“This will cushion and ameliorate the present hardship arising from the general national lockdown occasioned by coronavirus…pending the speedy conclusion of the process and the actual payment of the long-awaited new pension rates .
“If approved, this would not be the first time the CBN would be paying a palliative to its pensioners. For instance, after the CBN pensioners won the pension harmonisation case at the Supreme Court on May 21, 2010, after a protracted legal battle.
“The pensioners thereafter expected a quick implementation of the judgment but the CBN management promised to pay the harmonised pension rates before Christmas Day of that year.
“But, when the payment was not ready at the time promised, the then Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi-led CBN administration graciously approved and paid each CBN pensioner six months pension gratis in December 2010 as a compensation for the delay before later paying the harmonised pension the following year.
“So, there is already a precedent in this regard at a time when there was even nothing like a national emergency occasioned by either COVID-19 like we have today or any other cause…’’