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Pensioners seek implementation of 80% wage increment for retirees in states

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Say some still earn N300 per month
Pensioners in the South-West states, Ogun, Oyo, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun, yesterday appealed to the Federal Government and the National Assembly to prevail on the state governments to immediately start implementation of the 80 per cent minimum wage increment for pensioners, lamenting that some pensioners still earn N300 per month.

The pensioners, who spoke under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), South-West Zone after their bi-monthly meeting, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, alleged that pensioners received worst treatment under civilian administrations, insisting that the military governments treated them better.

The South-West Zonal Spokesman of NUP, Olusegun Abatan, who spoke with journalists after the meeting, said it was regrettable that state governments still owed pensioners several months’ pensions and gratuities in their states.

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He accused the governments of insensitivity to pensioners’ plights, saying: “It is quite unfortunate that immediately we entered the Fourth Republic in 1999, the problems of pensioners in Nigeria became worse. In fact, we were having a good time under the military government than the present civilian government.”

Abatan, who declined to disclose the total amount the state governments owed his members, stated: “It is criminal that we have governments that will be owing pensioners 56 months of unpaid pensions and several months or several years of unpaid gratuities.”

He said that Lagos State government had refused to fully implement the 142 per cent pension increase, which according to him, was due since 1999, alleging that Imo State owed up to 70 months unpaid pensions.

Besides, Abatan urged the Federal Government to reinstate the abolished five per cent counterpart-fund for Local Government Pension Boards introduced by the military government to augment payment of pensioners of local councils, like primary school teachers in the country.

He said: “Since 2010 that this five per cent counterpart-fund was stopped, there is no state in the federation that is not owing pensioners that retired from local councils until now.”

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According to him, Ogun State is owing retired primary school teachers and local council pensioners gratuities from 2011 to date, adding that the state is also owing state pensioners gratuities from 2014 to date.Abatan disclosed that pensioners in state might take legal action against the state government for non-implementation of the pension increase of 33.4 per cent, which he said, was due in 2010.

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