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NUP tasks Anambra on defrayment of ‘four-year’ pensions

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The Anambra branch of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has implored the state government to immediately clear the “four-year arrear of retirees.”

Its Chairman, Comrade Anthony Ugozor, made the call during the inauguration of the Awka South Council Branch Caretaker Committee, led by Comrade Ezechukwu Nwegwu, at the headquarters of the union in the state capital, yesterday.

The NUP chair, who spoke on the union’s slogan, “Rest is Sweet after Labour” shortly after he also inaugurated a three-member Audit Panel to look into activities and documents of the past executive, sought a review of pensions and gratuities to help retirees cope with spiralling living conditions.

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Ugozor noted that contrary to the provisions of the constitution for review of wages every five years, government had allegedly done nothing for pensioners since 2010.

According to him, the review was due in 2015, “but no increase was effected to the pensions”, just as he lamented that the 2020 minimum wage of N30,000 was not paid to pensioners.

“That means government does not obey the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended). Section 210 (3) of the said Constitution says pensions shall be reviewed every five years or whenever the salaries of the civil servants are reviewed, whichever comes first. The government is not obeying that,” he submitted.

He, however, he extolled Governor Willie Obiano for regular payment of monthly pensions besides provision of palliatives, but condemned the alleged alienation of the union in the distribution.

Ugozor backed organised labour for rejecting movement of salaries from the exclusive to concurrent list, describing it as inimical to civil servants in the country.

“It is true because the states are not doing well in terms of payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities. If the same thing comes to the states, the woes of the workers would worsen, “ the NUP chief added.

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