Expert blames pensioners’ plight on policy inconsistency
The multiple challenges facing pensioners in Nigeria are due to the Federal Government’s policy inconsistency as well as not always consulting other government components in policy reviews, a Senior Lecturer of the Public law Department at the University of Benin, Dr Gabriel Arieshe has said.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Nigerian pensioners: The struggle for gratuity and pension after retirement’, as part of activities to mark Pensioners Day in Edo State, Arieshe said unilateral decisions by the Federal Government on pension matters should be discontinued with even though it is on the exclusive legislative list.
“Policy inconsistency with the frequent reviews of pension schemes by the Federal Government without consulting state governments and other stakeholders constitutes another major problem. The frequent reviews have caused implementation problems at the state level with some state governments denouncing outright certain reforms.
“Of course, the federal has exclusive legislative competence over pension matters as provided for in item 44 of the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution, however, a holistic and consultative approach to pension reform will make implementation easy,” he explained.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Edo State, Pullen Noruwa, appealed to the governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, to use his good office to address the salient issues affecting their wellbeing.
While commending the smooth transition of power from the previous government to Obaseki, he said some issues they had with the previous government should be addressed.
He lamented that Edo State is the state in the South-South that is yet to implement the six per cent and 15 per cent increases approved by the Federal Government since 2010, adding that the refusal of the state government to implement various increments has led to some pensioners in the state earning less than N2, 000 a month.
Noruwa said they were frustrated at various attempts to meet with the former governor, Adams Oshiomhole and that their frustrations led to their taking to the streets in protest to press home their demands.