By Yankuba Jallow
A representative body of Government Pensioners walked into the offices of Foroyaa Newspaper on Monday October 15th 2018, to bitterly lament to this reporter about their outrageously low pension allowances that cannot even get them a twenty five kilogram bag of rice. The pensioners said they wrote a petition (copy shown to Foroyaa) to the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, with vehement complaints of their low earnings that lacks capacity to cater for their well-being. The letter was dated 25th September 2018.
In their petition letter, the pensioners indicated to the Minister that their allowances are so small that some of them receive as low as D75 per month; that this forces some of them to receive their pension allowances after every four or even six months, when they will be able to purchase a twenty five kilogram bag of rice to take to their families. The pensioners lament that they cannot talk of their health needs.
From their petition letter, the pensioners called on the Minister to intervene because they live in a dire situation which needs urgent attention for their plight to be addressed for the better.
“We are therefore making this appeal for an increment of our pension allowances, to be able to meet some of our needs, because times have changed,” they pleaded.
The pensioners also pointed out, that McCarthy Square is not ideal place to receive their pension allowance; that they stand under the sun for hours just to receive pittance.
“Most of the pensioners are elderly people. We cannot stand in that open place to receive our pension allowances. We therefore need a more suitable place, to receive our pension allowances,” they complained.