Life Of Problem: Delay in pension payment sends retiree to depression and stroke
A letter promising a speedy processing of a former staff of the FGN, has failed to uphold commitment.
A delay in payment of his pension, has caused a retiree, Mr. Gabriel Olofinlua, to enter a state of depression which invited a stroke condition.
Olofinlua had served with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
15 years on, he is yet to gain access to the monies saved up from a lifetime of pension contribution.
This is according to Punch News in a report published on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
The retiree, a 75-year-old indigene of Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, reportedly suffered stroke in February 2010, and had failed to overcome his condition despite an intervention by family members.
His wife, Mrs. Ayotunde Olofinlua, confirmed his challenged in an interview with Punch.
“He worked with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and retired in 2003 at the age of 60. He retired at level 14 and was paid his gratuity about three years later.
“Since then, they had refused to pay him his pensions. Before he was sick, he went to Abuja twice and was told to hold on and that they were working on the pension of other people and they would soon get to his turn.
“By 2010, he suffered a stroke and could not go anywhere again. Some people advised us to get a lawyer or somebody in the ministry to help him follow it up.
“We got one of his friends in the ministry. Unfortunately, the man died and we could not get anybody again.
“One of our relatives working in a law firm in Abuja assisted us to follow it up to a certain stage.
“She later said the pension office said he should wait for another verification exercise and that he would be paid. That was in 2017. We waited and didn’t hear anything,” says a troubled Ayotunde.
Pension dues delayed by slow processing and unprofessionalism?
A fruitless pursuit of the pension payment extended to the doorstep of an Alhaji Dogo, whose response meant a longer wait.
He reportedly informed the eager pensioner that his case has been transferred to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation but nothing materialised since the update.
“We were given the names of two people, including one Alhaji Dogo, whom we were told were in charge. We started calling Alhaji Dogo for updates.
“The last thing he told us was that the case was in the auditor-general’s office. He said after an audit, my husband would be paid. This has been the story all along.
“Our children have spent a lot of money on his treatment. Before now, he could not talk or walk. Although his condition appeared to have improved a little, his hands are paralysed.
“His words are not clear. The money the children are spending on his treatment is not bearing fruit because his mind appears to be on the pension, which he sees as his entitlement.
“We spend N30,000 on drugs every month. Despite his condition, he subscribes to The PUNCH Newspaper every week, hoping to see information on his pension in the papers.
“We believe he cannot fully recover until he gets his benefits,” a devoted Mrs. Ayotunde Olofinlua added in a Punch News report.
Failed promises after 35 years of meritorious service
The pensioner who has been left hanging after putting in 35 years of work with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), has a letter proving his entitlement.
A part of the document was emphatic about processing the pension dues of Mr. Gabriel Olofinlua but the reverse has happened according to Punch.
“With reference to your application dated March 21, 2003, I am directed to inform you that your retirement from the federal public service has been accepted with effect from June 22, 2003 when you would have put in 35 years meritorious service.
“You will liaise with the pension section of the ministry in rooms 126/128, where all documents for your benefits would be processed without any delay,” a section of the letter reads.