By Ikenna Orioha
Pensioners in Imo State have been reassured of getting their pensions 2days after data bio-metric capturing exercise. The Imo State Government is currently using graduates of Imo origin to verify eligible pensioners to avoid paying ghost pensioners. The pensions verification exercise is taking place at the Government House, Owerri, having started on 2nd July, 2019. Briefing journalists at Government House, Owerri, on Wednesday, Chairman of the Pensions Verification Committee and Chief Adviser to Governor Emeka Ihedioha on Technical Matters, Chief Paschal Madu, hinted that all the Files of eligible retired Civil Servants had been moved to the central place for holistic and easy verification, highlighting that the PDP led government wants to put an end to the plight and suffering of Imo pensioners. The Committee further explained that after the "verification exercise where over 13000 authentic pensioners had been verified, data bio-metric capturing would be done following payment... We are doing this so that every pensioner gets paid and this measure will save money for the state. We are surely building capacity for the future hence we productively engaged Imo graduates with ICT ideas to help extract these pensioners data. At least, about 30000 pensioners will be captured". The Committee, thus requested the pensioners to continue to be patient as their pensions would be paid as soon as the data bio-metric capturing is concluded, affirming that Governor Emeka Ihedioha is committed to assuage their suffering. However, Imo State Chairman, Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC, Comrade Chilakpu, told government to ensure it pays pensioners immediately after the end of the capturing to save the lives of the old pensioners who are not only weak, fragile, but expectant of being paid and given new lease of life. "Let government pay pensions before the end of August. Let data bio-metric capturing and payment take place simultaneously", NLC, urged. While appealing to government not to delay the capturing exercise unnecessarily, Chairman, Imo State Pensioners, Sir JB Oduasia Ugochukwu, said pensioners will be more glad if "the exercise is drastically done, at best following it local government by local government. We are not prepared to wait for more weeks because we are suffering. Though we commend the sterling effort of government so far".