I Feel For My Dear Old Parent, The Pensioners

1Timothy 5:18B says “And the labourer is worthy of his (her) wages”.

The civil servants having put all their lives in Civil service would naturally expect to be rewarded at the end of their service. The immediate rewards are by ways of salaries and wages, while his time rewards are by the ways of pensions and gratuities. The thought that one day he would be rewarded by ways of pension and gratuity also serves as security.

Everybody doing one thing or the other requires a form of reward. The reward could be immediate, meeting the needs of the person concerned and could be spread into the future to take care of him/her, when he/she is not strong enough to work. For example, a trader may buy goods with the aim to feed and cater for his/her immediate family and should there be excess (income) such income is invested with the intention of receiving returns to cater for them and their family when they are no longer strong enough to trade again. That’s possibly the most reason why people that have foresight always invest what they consider as excess income in the capital market, so that at one time or the other such investment could yield some useful returns.

The civil service is supposed to guarantee the continuous existence by what have been kept for them from the day of their date of first appointment. It is the thought of receiving rewards by ways of pension and gratuity that make a civil servant continually put in her best during their service period.

Pension and gratuities are welfare packages for retired civil servants. It is a sum of money paid regularly by the government to a person who no longer works because of age.  After retirement pension is expected to be paid monthly to the retirees. The amount is payable based on how long one had put into service and the rank at which one has retired.

Naturally, a person having successfully worked and retired is expected to live for a period on her pension and gratuity and if such is not coming as in the case with retirees from both federal, state and local government, the hardship experienced by these peoples is great and suffocating.

It sounds so disgusting when that old people that have put in their 35 years of their lives in serving the government and their fatherland cannot be treated as one that have sacrifice for their nation.

Pensioners should not be treated as destitute. Even the destitute have rights and obligations. Retirement is not a crime. Paying pensioners their entitlement is not a favour neither are they liabilities to the government. It is their rights. Those in charge of the administration of pensioners should remember that retirement will dawn on them sooner or later, even for selfish reasons; they are supposed to ensure the betterment of retirees. Retirees should be left to suffer unnecessarily or die in the course of waiting for their benefits. These pensioners have families, they are to settle. Moreover, they are senior citizens and supposed to be given preferential treatment in everything. What Nigeria is today and the shape it will take tomorrow as its foundation is the contribution of these our old parents.

The problem with the administration of pension and gratuities in Nigeria is that the relevant authority is not working toward making provision for those who will retire in the shortest possible time. And at such people that retired are most likely to face problem as their dues would not be paid to them on time.

We are living in a digital world where if the government wants to overcome delay in payment of pension and gratuity, they can condemn traditional system of filing and file documents in a way, a civil servant can access his or her information from the comfort of their home in a computer.

The traditional system of filing since 1960 cannot help conquer the problem connected pension and gratuity in Nigeria. Government should encourage digital system of filing as to ease the stress of retires waiting throughout their lives for pension and gratuity.

By this process, the government or the individual will know the period of his/her retirement without falsifying any document to keep them longer in service. And it will give the government the opportunity to prepare the necessary document in due time.

If the civil service is like what, it is today, it will discourage young people to work in the civil service.

People entrusted to take care of pension and gratuity fund that are making life difficult for pensioners should know that every acts has its consequences.

Pensioners have put in the better part of their lives in the service of their fatherland; it is appropriate that they should be rewarded well. ###

Friday Nse Edith