NUP alleges pensioners still receive N2,000 monthly
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), has alleged that there are still pensioners in the country that receive as lowly as N2,000 monthly, just as it called for an upward review of minimum pension to N30,000 monthly. The President of NUP, Dr Abel Afolayan, who stated this in Abuja, during an official visit to the Acting Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, added that majority of pensioners in Nigeria earn less than N10,000 monthly.
Afolayan said: “The issue is that for the vast majority of the pensioners, it is the token they receive they rely on for survival. With the workers, the tension has died down with the agreement reached and the percentage consequential adjustments increase, but with the pensioners, the tension is high, and if I don’t have anything tangible to present to them or tell them at our meeting next week, in Ibadan, there will be problems.”
Afolayan added: “We still have people earning N2,000; some earn N10,000. Vast majority of pensioners in this country earn N10,000 below. It is people in this category that are agitating on what is happening to us. And I don’t want a situation whereby they will say the National President is comfortable, the National Deputy Vice President is comfortable, the General Secretary is comfortable, that is why they are not concerned about our problems. That is why we decided to come here.
“We want to know when the templates, the structure, the table that will be implemented. We are aware that it is the responsibility of National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to come up with them.“When want to know when work will start on our table, and how our own table will be worked out, and whether or not we will be involved in the discussions and negotiations concerning that because during the last exercise, after the workers’ own had been settled, a committee had to be set up to work out the table for pensioners. One of us is a member of the committee that worked it out, and it took a long time after the table for the workers had been approved before our own.
“It is only early this year that the last payment of the month by month of the 33% arrears was paid. We don’t want that to happen this time around. One compelling reason that we are here is because we are holding our national meeting at Ibadan, and we have invited you to ease the pressure from us.”In his response, Ekpo Nta told the NUP that the amount for minimum pension was already being considered, with the conclusion of negotiation on national minimum wage. Ekpo assured the pensioners of a corresponding increase in their pension along with the minimum wage.He, however, advised them not to ask for peanuts, but advocate integrated policy from local government to the Federal Government on how to take care of the senior citizens, which must have minimal conditions.
He said: “Everybody is aware during the negotiation on the minimum wage and its consequential adjustment that there must be a corresponding increase for pensioners, and we shouldn’t wait for agitation again before we do that.“I am very happy you are all here today. This is the time we should have a major reform in our pension administration concerning the pensioners. There must be total U-turn of pension management in the country.
“If for workers it is N30, 000 then you must also define what a minimum earning pensioners should get. They don’t see things the way some of us see it, if a pensioner goes to hospital, he would occupy the hospital bed longer than the young person.
“I know that the government is already working on it. That one, I think it would be addressed because all along the negotiations it has always been under consideration. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) inquired about it. So, everybody is aware that it must be done.”
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