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Pensioners threaten to sue governors over consequential wage deficit

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
17 September 2021   |   3:57 am
The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), South-West Chapter, has threatened to sue South-West governors for reneging on their promise to implement consequential adjustment to retirees in their respective states.

The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), South-West Chapter, has threatened to sue South-West governors for reneging on their promise to implement consequential adjustment to retirees in their respective states.

Those to be sued included Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo).

The retirees gave the governors up to the end of October this year to implement the new minimum wage, failing which the NUP will take them to court.

The NUP Zonal Public Relations Officer, Dr. Olusegun Abatan, while briefing newsmen on the contentious issue during the zone’s bimonthly regional meeting in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, yesterday, regretted that the governors of the zone had defaulted in the payment of gratuities and pensions to retirees.

Abatan, who is the NUP Secretary in Oyo State, regretted that the high-handedness of the governments of the zone had continued unabated, particularly in the implementation of 33.4 per cent and consequential adjustment to retirees.

He said: “The South-West has always been regarded as a zone of progressives, but it is an irony that a zone that was respected as progressive could be lagging behind in the welfare of workers and pensioners.

“The non-compliance with constitutional provisions has been a matter of concern to all of us.

“The 33.4 per cent pension increase done in 2010 has not been implemented in most of these states. Out of six, only Lagos and Ondo has implemented it, while Oyo, Ekiti, Osun and Ogun states have failed in this regard and the body languages of the governors showed that they are not ready to implement this.

“We give the governments of Lagos, Ogun, Osun Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti states till the end of October 2021 within which they should address the consequential adjustment to pensioners, failing which we shall take them to court.”

The NUP spokesperson regretted how Fayemi had allegedly asked the pensioners to go and get their gratuities in the capital market and forfeit 45 per cent of what is due to them.

He said the claim adduced by Fayemi was spurious, stressing that it was tantamount to “trying to give our members a poisoned chalice.”

“We are no longer interested in anybody’s grammar. Let him wake up from his slumber and pay our members in Ekiti,” he pleaded.

“It is sad that the salaries of political office holders don’t have issues only that of workers and pensioners are always affected. I see no reason why they should be suffering the cows they had milked dry.

“I learnt that the Ekiti State government was releasing N100 million every month to pay arrears of gratuities and pensions, even with this, it will take over 40 years to defray this humongous indebtedness because those who retired after 2013 have not been paid a dime,” Abatan added.