By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
A member of the board of National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Issa Aremu, at the weekend advocated for standard minimum pension for Nigerian retirees in the country.
Aremu, who is also a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), also said the new minimum wage negotiation and implementation committee set up by the federal government should not last more than six months.Â
He made this submission at the weekend in his address at the official unveiling of Hamdalat Aremu/NUJ Masjid at the premises of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara State council, Ilorin.Â
The mosque which was constructed and named after Aremuâ€™s late wife who died two years ago, was unveiled by the President of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi.Â
Aremu expressed dissatisfaction over the miserable life some Nigerian pensioners are living due to the meagre and irregular monthly pension.
The labour leader therefore urged governments at all levels to be sensitive to the plight of senior citizens who have served the country in various capacities meritoriously.
He said: â€œIt is constitutional that minimum pension must also be undergoing regular review each time the minimum wage is considered for a review.â€Â
Aremu who is also the Vice President of Industrial Global Union said the 1999 constitution states that the primary purpose of governance is the security and welfare of the citizen, and expressed regret that out of the four billion people in world without social protection, the significant of them live in Africa mostly Nigeria.
Â â€œNigerians, old and young, men and women, now beg to meet basic desperate hospital health challenges, students whose parents are unemployed beg to pay fees, unemployed who resist criminality have turned destitute,â€ he added.Â
He noted that Nigeria and Nigerians do not need Ministries of Happiness, saying: â€œWhat we need is real and sustainable happiness.â€
Aremu said the responsibility of the government as an enforcer of labour laws is to ensure that minimum standards are maintained with respect to decent wages for workers by both the public and private sectors.