Pensioners lament backlog of pensions, gratuity
*Maintain most state governors have no regard for pensioners
The Southwest Zone of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) has lamented the backlog of pensions and gratuity being owed by governors of the zone, insisting that most state governors have no regard for pensioners.
The pensioners, who stated this in Lagos State, during the body’s zonal meeting decried the attitude of governors to yield to their plight while also lamenting the sufferings, sickness and deaths of pensioners.
In a statement on Monday, the Chairman, Southwest Zone of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Waheed Olayiwola Oloyede, pleaded with state governors to pay pensioners regularly and as when due.
He also pleaded with the governors to increase pensions being paid in the various states, nothing that some pensioners are still receiving as low as N5000 a month.
He said: “Nigerian constitution provides increase in pension every five years and whenever salaries of workers are increased, that of pensioners should also increase. We have discovered that only the federal government is fulfilling the promise, but the states are not. The consequential increase in the pension that was approved by the federal government in 2019 was not implemented in many states. We are using the opportunity of this meeting to appeal to all the governors that have not implemented the increase to do so without any further delay.”
The Chairman lamented that pensioners go through a lot of challenges, noting that the fact that their plights are not heard causes them a lot of damage.
“Pensioners are dying almost every week. Many of us use the little money we are paid to buy drugs, and when the money is not forthcoming, we cannot get the drugs, and that means we cannot live long. This is why we are pleading that the government should listen to the plight of the pensioners and ensure we are paid what we should be paid as at when due. The problem of pensioners is almost the same in all the states of the federation and most of the state governors have no regard for pensioners,” he said.
The Public Relations Officer, Southwest Zone of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Comrade Olusegun Abatan, lamented that there has not been substantial development from the zone’s last report on how the state governments have been addressing the plight of pensioners, though noted that there are minor developments including that, out of the south-west states, it is only Ogun state government that has now set up a committee to address the consequential adjustment on pension, as well as a committee to address the issues of pensioners under the contributory pension scheme.
“We want to use this opportunity to encourage and plead with other state governors in the southwest to take into consideration and act promptly on the consequential adjustment of pensions.”
He called on the Southwest state governors to declare a state of emergency on pension in their respective states, urging the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) across the southwest states to support pensioners in their states as well.
The PRO pleaded; “They should please consider payment of gratuities, pensions, allowances and pension increases to pensioners. Governors have refused to meet pensioners one on one. We want to appeal to them to have a way to meet the leadership of pensioners in their respective states, failure to do this will lead to pensioners trooping out to demand their rights, and in order not to do this, we implore our governors to find a way of meeting us,” he said.
The Vice Chairman, Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Lagos State Council, Comrade Aderemi Titus, urged political leaders to have the heart to serve the people, noting that every individual will reap the fruits of their deeds. He urged them to love the masses, do not neglect them and ensure the right leadership.