President Koroma to Salvage Plights of Pensioners

By Augustine Sankoh

President Ernest Bai Koroma, on Thursday May 5, met with a cross section of pensioners at State House in Freetown.
The meeting came following a call from the Acting President of Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Jennings Wright for government to look into conditions of pensioners in the country.
Delivering his address to mark International Workers Day last Monday, Wright said that the pensions received by many are disrespectful and disappointing.
He said a police sergeant who had worked for 35 years is receiving a pension of Le43,000 per month. “For someone to have worked for so long and receives such disgraceful pension is beyond human imagination,” he said.
Addressing the pensioners with compassion, President Koroma said any person who has provided service in building this nation is due to be appreciated and accorded with respect. He said it is heartrending for a pensioner to receive just Le21,000 as monthly pension.
The president promised to look into concerns of pensioners such as low pension, lack of shelter and medical care. He also promised to coordinate a meeting with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) to find ways of addressing issues affecting pensioners in the country.
President Koroma pointed out that the number of pensioners should be known as that will provide some statistics with which to work on their demands. He described his meeting with the pensioners as just a first step to addressing their concerns.
Wright, who led the delegation, thanked President Koroma for his swift response in meeting with the pensioners. He said most of the pensioners were abruptly laid off during the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) regime and have suffered neglect for far too long.

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