From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) says it will be embarking on a nationwide protest against government, for its non-implementation of consequential adjustment of pensions arising from the new National Minimum Wage.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the National President of the NUP, Dr Abel Afolayan said the the union is giving the government a 21-day ultimatum to sign the submitted pension adjustment document to ensure immediate implementation for pensioners.
Dr Afolayan explained that since April 2019, pensioners have not been benefitting from the new minimum wage adjustment and stated that the union had submitted a written report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) since November 2020. He said several months on, there has been no response to their plea.
He said: “Effective from April 2019, Nigerian workers have benefitted and have been enjoying the consequential adjustment in their salaries, arising from the implementation of the N30,000 national minimurm wage as approved and signed into law by the President of the Federal republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR).
“However, it is disheartening to note that for almost two years running, pensioners
are still awaiting the approval of their own consequential adjustment of monthly
pensions in compliance with the above constitutional stipulation, after several
efforts and moves by the National Leadership of the Union, even though such
demand is in tandem with the economic realities of today.
“Furthermore, it is instructive to inform you that the committee set up by the
Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, having completed its assignment
submitted the committee’s report to the Secretary to the Government of the
Federation (SGF) since November, 2020 for onward transmission to the
president for his assent. But regrettably, as we speak, the where about of this
important document is still unknown. It is unbelievable and worrisome that such a vital document as this is missing between the office of the SGF and the Presidency.”
Giving the NUP’s verdict on the issue, he said: “Having exhausted all avenues to press home our legitimate demand, but to no avail, we are left with no option than to embark on a nationwide protest, as that is the only language our governments understand. For this reason, the Union is giving the Federal Government another 21 days ultimatum in compliance with the Trade Unions Act, to sign the submitted pension adjustment document before it for immediate implementation or face the bitterness and anger of the Nigerian pensioners.
“If nothing is done within the stipulated time, we shall take to the streets in all the states of the Federation without further recourse to the security agencies to protest the unjust and unfair treatment being meted out to the Senior Citizens who spent the youthful/useful part of their lives to serve this country to the best of