Pensioners Demand Pay Rise Urge FG, states to comply with pension law

Nigerian retirees under the umbrella of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) have charged the federal and state governments to urgently implement provisions of the constitution in respect of the mandatory five yearly increase in pensions.

The NUP also urged the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to be more proactive in undertaking the review of salaries and pensions and to advise the government to adhere to the relevant provisions of the constitution in this regard.

Addressing members at the 20th edition of the Pensioners Day celebration in Abuja at the weekend, the National President of NUP, Godwin Abumisi, bemoaned the failure of most of the state governments to regularly pay retirees their pensions.

He also said it was disappointing and painful to note that while the federal government had released the enabling circular consequential adjustments of pensions effective from April, 2019, most state governments were yet to give effect to the circular as released by the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission.

He said: “It is very pertinent for me at this juncture to call on the federal government’s to rise up to the occasion by complying with the constitutional provisions and not to wait until the retirees become frustrated and agitated before the government begins to run helter skelter so as to douse tension and to forestall breakdown of law and order.”

He argued that payment of monthly pension to pensioners was a right not a privilege.
Abumisi said pensioners were using the occasion to appeal to state governors who are defaulting in payment of monthly pensions to retirees to have a change of heart and do the needful.

“I equally appeal to the president to help us appeal to recalcitrant governors, as the father of nation to stop inhuman treatment of pensioners and find a constitutional means of ensuring that all the various bailouts to these states are not diverted but are judiciously used to the advantage of the Nigerian workers and Pensioners in terms payment of their salaries, pension and gratuities,” he said.
Abumisi, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making the payment of pensions, gratuity and other entitlements of retirees a priority.

He said the NUP was enjoying a cordial working relationship with PENCOM, PTAD and the National Assembly as well the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.

There was mild drama during the Pensioners Day celebration when an aggrieved group representing the Federal Civil Service retirees, protested, accusing NUP of illegal check-off deductions from their members.

Spokesman of the group and Chairman Federal Civil Service Pensioners Branch (FCSPB), Sunday Omezi, said they have petitioned the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to intervene in resolving the matter.
However, Abumisi dismissed the allegation of illegal check-off deductions saying that deductions are online with the procedure contained in union’s constitution.

“Let me tell you, this group has been persistent in causing trouble for the NUP and trying to break it apart. We don’t give Check-off, it is PTAD that gives check-off and we have a system of Check-deduction which is contained in the union’s constitution,” he said.

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