At the headquarters of the Pensions Authority in the Republic of Chad, pensioners have arrived on a very simple mission. These senior citizens are going through a list of names which captures the identity of beneficiaries of the last quarter of 2017 coupons.
If they find their name, it is a miracle they say, as beneficiaries lament their pension funds are often slow in coming.
Since January, the government began paying for the last quarter of 2017,meaning beneficiaries are uncertain about that of 2018.
Africanews has learnt, there are some pensioners including widows earning less than 30,000 CFA Franc about 48 US dollars.
Shi Djibéal Valentin, is a former Lieutenant of the National gendarmerie, who retired in 1996. He is registered with the National Pensions Fund of Chadian retirees and has only been living on his pension for 22 years. He tells Africanews, his pension funds does not allow him to have access to decent accommodation and one meal a day.
‘‘The Chadian pension is insignificant. We can’t live with that. There are pensioners and widows earning 29,400 CFA Francs as I speak. So with 29,400 CFA Francs for a year, how will someone live with it? And a widow who has orphans to look after, pay for their schooling and feed them. It’s very difficult. It is said that it was necessary to pay a minimum wage of 60,000 CFA Franc, until now at the level of the national pensioners’ fund of Chad, we do not see it. To retire in Chad is to die…,” he said. Shi Djibéal Valentin is not the only pensioner reeling under the pressure of inadequate funds from his pension.
Meet Mariam Titimbaye,who said despite serving their nation with all honesty ,this is not the way to thank them for their hard work and sacrifices.
“What you should normally have, you don’t have. It’s accumulating…We served our country honestly. In principle, this is not how we should be thanked…,” Titimbaye lamented.
Another retired Civil servant Diontar Ngon-Nadji Alexis, says current conditions with the meagre amount is rough on them.
“When they come to pay, they drag it.Now we’re at the fourth coupon 2017,with no word on that of 2018. Also, to make ends meet is hard. Life is expensive in N’ Djamena,” Ngon-Nadji said.
Colonel Mahamat Hassan Abakar is Chairman of the Pension Monitoring Commission in Chad. He told a gathering of pensioners that the government is doing what they can with support from international partners.
“ It’s your right that the state is paying. There is no intermediary. Individual beneficiaries receive their pensions individually. Today, despite the country’s difficulties, the government is paying for the fourth quarter of 2017 with the help of international partners.”
Colonel Mahamat Hassan Abakar acknowledged concerns of the beneficiaries and assured that a mechanism has already been set up working to address the issue with late payments.
‘‘For the past ten years or so, payment has been made in ascending order from the first number to the 30th, we manage more than 30,000 retirees. We tried to set up a mechanism, to increase the number of branches at the local level so that everyone is paid at the same time. That’s our mission right now,” Abakar added.
Beneficiaries are hoping real commitment will be shown to enable them live decent lives.