Pensioners start massive nationwide protest Friday over ‘minimum pension’
Posted by News Express | 21 April 2021 | 144 times
•Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige
By IDOWU ISAMOTU
Senior citizens under auspices of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), on Wednesday said they have resolved to embark on a massive protest, starting Friday morning across 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory in order to press home their demands on ‘minimum pension’.
Outgoing President of the NUP, Abel Afolayan, who made this known in Abuja while speaking to journalists at the 11th quadrennial delegate conference of the union, said his members would ground the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Afolayan told newsmen that the Union had issued the federal government an ultimatum on the protest but nothing has been done, insisting that the pensioners cannot continue to languish in abject poverty amidst skyrocketed prices of daily needs.
The union leader said, “We are protesting because they have refused to release the letter of pension increment, consequential upon the minimum wage and salary adjustment to workers, two years after that was done.
“The welfare of Pensioners are still terrible. The pensioners are not being treated well at all. Many pensioners are suffering. Some earn as low as N5,000 and they are not being paid as and when due. Even as we speak now the pension increase, consequential upon the national minimum wage and salary adjustment is yet to be effected, two years after those of the workers have been done.”
But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige said the federal government is mindful of the sacrifices and contributions of retirees to the Nigerian project and is committed to taking necessary steps to address issues that border on improving your welfare.
Ngige, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, therefore, said the lingering issue of consequential adjustment to pension of Nigerian pensioners has been overdue since 2019 when the new Minimum Wage Act was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He assured that the ministry of Labour and Employment has taken the lead in ensuring that the review is achieved.
He said, “Distinguished Senior Citizens, Permit me to use this opportunity to inform you that the Federal Government is mindful of your sacrifices and contributions to the Nigerian project and is committed to taking necessary steps to address issues that border on improving your welfare.
“My ministry has decided to take the lead on the lingering issue of consequential adjustment to pension of Nigerian pensioners which had been overdue since 2019 when the new Minimum Wage Act was signed into law by Mr. President. In this regard therefore we are hopeful that working with other Agencies of Government, there would be some light at the end of the tunnel.”
In his address, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba decried the plight of pensioners in the country, adding that the condition of pensioners is lamentable.
He said, “In all the sectors of Nigeria economy, it is the efforts and hardwork of pensioners that ensured the successes of Nigeria today.
“I call on governments to prioritise the payment of pensioners as at when due. The issue is not of fund to pay but priority. Imo state remain the worst in payment of pension.” (Daily Trust)
Source: News Express
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