In any country run by a decent man, it is expected that those men and women who had devoted their youthful life in working in either Government or parastatal would as a right go on peaceful retirement, when due. Great leadership like Cameroon witnessed under the late President Ahmadou Ahidjo understood that citizens cannot go on retirement to be sobbing but to pass their old age in peace, giving advice to the new generation while having their meals with ease. In President Biya’s Cameroon, it is a different thing.
How can it be that retired persons will stay for two years, three to ten years without the National Social Insurance Fund paying a penny to such people? How isn’t possible that documents duly deposited at the fund could not be seen or have not been sent from Yaounde, the nation’s capital? And these persons are at the Fund, day in and day out, borrowing money at exorbitant interest rates from cultural meetings to follow up the pension documents. And the few that do come from Yaounde carry with them standing instructions from the General Manager of the National Social Insurance Fund that those ARREARS should not be paid.
Cameroon Concord is aware that from 1996, no arrears have been paid to our pensioners. Family allowances all in great arrears have also not been paid. What crimes have the pensioners committed to President Biya and his ruling CPDM party? Even with the decentralization of the National Social Insurance Fund into zones, many pensioners still owe heavy loans and are unable to pay. Many have died of hunger. Many Cameroonian families continue to hit the rocks because of poverty. Thousands if not millions of children are out of school. Some families are starving and some attacked by illnesses are dying in silence. Not even an Anglophone Prime Minister and Head of Government has come to the aid of these poor wrinkled men and women.
Retired civil servants receive their pension benefits monthly. But parastatal retirees are said to receive their payments every three months, which Cameroon Concord can reveal is a komisch arrangement which sometimes see five months elapse before they receive any franc from the state. We of this publication are appealing to the Prime Minister and Head of Government Yang Philemon who spent two decades in Canada as ambassador that if there is corpse or village development project, our pensioners cannot wait for years before making his contribution for the corpse to be buried or the development project. A stitch in time saves nine