Chief Godwin Ikechukw Abumisi, the National President of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has commended Governor Hope Uzodinma for regular and prompt payment of pensioners in Imo State.
He said: “Pensioners are now happy and rejoicing because His Excellency has removed the anomalies of past administration of Rochas Okorocha.”
Abumisi gave the commendation at the New Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Owerri when he led the national and state executives of the union on a courtesy visit to the governor.
Governor Uzodinma responding assured the visitors of his commitment to the welfare of their members and readiness to support and cooperate with the leadership of the NUP, even as he challenged them to see government as partners in progress.
According to a statement by Oguwike Nwachuku, Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Governor, Uzodimma who was excited that for the first time NUP had a president of South East extraction, commended the body for ensuring that their laid down rules were followed, which resulted in the emergence of the new union’s leadership.
He commended the officers from the South East and other union executives from other parts of the country for exhibiting patriotism, trust and confidence on their members no matter where they come from.
The governor challenged the new NUP President to see his emergence “as a call to national duty which carries a lot of expectations” with the reasoning that under his administration the union would be better than it is today.
He challenged his members, both the national and state, who accompanied the President on the visit to rally round him to ensure that Abumisi’s “administration will be remembered for good even by those that will come after him.”
The governor, on behalf of the government and people of Imo State, promised to continue to partner and support the executive and members of the union by ensuring prompt payment of pensions in Imo State.
On the other issues of welfare of pensioners in Imo State like check-off dues, arrears of pensions and gratuity, the governor promised to direct the immediate release of check-off dues.
On arrears of pensions, he informed that his administration has done a lot in trying to recover from all the damages allegedly caused by Okorocha’s administration in Imo State, emphasising, “it is your entitlement. So, government has the responsibility to give you what belongs to you.”
He enjoined them to assist him in correcting all the problems surrounding pensions in Imo State to make life more meaningful for all of them.
The governor appealed to the national president and his members to advise those who have refused to appear for automation to do so and stop blackmailing the government.
Concerning gratuity of pensions which is in arrears of many years, Uzodinma told the NUP that “gratuity will be very difficult for the government to pay arrears now unless the economy improves.”
The governor also commended the state chairman, Chief Josiah U. Ugochukwu, for cooperating with the government in solving most of the problems surrounding pension issues of the state.
In an address read earlier by the president of NUP, Abumisi informed the governor that he had come to present himself and the new officials that will work with him.
Abumisi appealed to the governor to “use his good offices to reach out to other state governors who owe pensioners to please pay them their pensions and gratuity.”
He also appealed to the governor to consider their plight and release to them their check-off dues which he said, “they use in maintenance of their secretariat and payment of allowances to their Executives and other workers.”
The national president solicited continued partnership with his colleagues in Imo and the Governor’s fatherly support in improving their welfare.
He lauded Uzodimma for always choosing the path of dialogue in resolving contentious issues between the state and NUP.
He frowned on those causing problems for government in the name of pensions, noting that most of them are not genuine pensioners rather saboteurs of government.
Introducing the visitors earlier, the state chairman of NUP and South East Zonal Chairman of NUP, Chief Ugochukwu told the governor that they have come with all happiness to inform him that “for the first time in many years of NUP existence South East has produced a President of the Union in the person of Chief Godwin Abumisi.”
The Deputy Governor Prof Placid Njoku, some commissioners and other key appointees of government joined Uzodinma in receiving the visitors.