By: Kebba AF Touray
Scores of Pensioners have expressed dissatisfaction over the non-payment of their drawbacks and other monthly benefits and called on Government to intervene with immediacy.
These retired octogenarians, voiced out their concerns to this reporter in an interview with this medium on Saturday, 28th April 2018.
Mr. Bakary Jammeh, spokesperson for the pensioners, decried they have not been receiving their draw backs for six years and explained that their convergence was to elect their representatives at the SSHFC Board, which he outlined was cancelled without their knowledge.
“What we expect from the Social Security is to have our seven years drawback paid and an increment on our monthly pensions. This they should have done since 2008. So it is important for the SSHFC to look into our pension payments because there cannot be Social Security without pensioners,” he said.
He called on Government to step in and ensure they are paid seven years drawback and to also increase their monthly pensions. He said this is long overdue.
Amadou Cham, a pensioner who said he has worked for NAWEC, expressed dismay for calling off the meeting between them and the Social Security; that at least they should have been informed of the reasons after advertising the meeting on both the print and electronic media. This, he said, is a total disrespect to them.
Isatou Njie, another pensioner, emphasized that they need their drawback payments and monthly benefits; that they have families to take care of from paying children’s’ School fees, their personal health care, to feeding. This, she said, will remain painstaking for them, if their demands are not met. She called on Government to make this a reality for the pensioners.
Yussupha Jaiteh, another pensioner, said they were called by the SSHFC for a general meeting and they failed to turn up on grounds, that the day coincided with the “Set-Setal”. He disclosed the Low pension rate as one of their main grievance, which he revealed is D900.
Similar remarks were made by Ousman Camara and Pateh Bah and they emphasized the need for Government and relevant stakeholders, to step in and provide solutions to their plight.
Sulayman Nyass, PRO of the SSHFC explained that they announced the meeting, but did not know that the “Set Setal” was slated for Saturday; that after confirmation with the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the IEC for the conduct of election at the meeting, they fixed the election at 2:00 pm on the same day and by then the pensioners went home. He stated that the election is rescheduled for next Saturday at the Friendship Hotel at 10: 00 am.