Government pensioners have started receiving their pensions from the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) but called on government to increase their pensions.
The pensioners, most of whom had worked for the government for a very long time, started receiving their pensions on Tuesday. Some complained that what they were receiving could not meet the present rising cost in commodities.
Sorie Kargbo, a retired police who served for 35 years, explained that he received Le 25,500 as pension for a month which he referred to as a pittance. Sorie Dumbuya, a retired worker at the Works ministry, said he was receiving about Le 50,000 quarterly which he termed as a pittance unlike Gawan Vandi who said he was an ex-service soldier who served for 15 years and received Le15, 000 monthly as pension.
Alie Conteh, a former employee of the ministry of Health and Sanitation, disclosed that the Le 11,000 monthly pension given him by government was very ridiculous given the Herculean responsibility he carried as a breadwinner.
“I started working for that ministry in August 1963 with the hope of receiving attractive retirement benefit and pension but to no avail,” he explained. He explained further that after 30 years of meaningful service to the government of Sierra Leone, he was retired in 1986 with a benefit of Le 500.
He noted that NASSIT had once promised them a bag of rice with a small incentive on a monthly basis but nothing had been realized to date.
Pa Alusine Bangura of Sam Lane, Gloucester village and former employee of the Sierra Leone Roads Transport Corporation, said he served that organisation for over 30 years but was retired in 2000 with a paltry retirement benefit and pension.
Mohamed P Kamara, a former SLA and a member of the ‘Wounded In Action Association’, said they were not too comfortable with the Le 94,000 monthly pension given them, given the current economic trend in the country.
Mrs Emma Lappia, assistant manager in charge of pensions at NASSIT, explained to Awoko that those receiving pensions at their office were not NASSIT pensioners but that of government pensioners.
She explained that they were just administering what government would have done, adding that NASSIT had nothing to do in relation to the low pensions received by some as their role was to just pay and most of what they received was what they worked for. By Ishmael Bayoh