The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has expressed their appreciation for President Bola Tinubu’s approval of a N25,000 wage award as a palliative measure for federal pensioners in the country.
During an address marking the 2023 Pensioners and Older Persons Day in Abuja, with the theme “Subsidy Removal and its Adverse Impact on the Lives of Pensioners/Older Persons,” Godwin Abumisi, the National President of NUP, conveyed this commendation.
According to Abumisi, he said,
- “We trust that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs who is entrusted with the responsibility of handling the payment would expedite action on the payment.
- “This is without further delay to assuage the pains and sufferings of the pensioners and the older persons,’ he remarked.
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Highlighting the need for equity, Abumisi called on the government to extend the duration of the wage award from three to six months, in line with what regular employees receive.
To ensure seamless distribution of the approved palliative, Abumisi emphasized the importance of government agencies handling the disbursement.
He stressed the necessity for these agencies, such as PTAD and PENCOM, to maintain precise database records containing the account details of all pensioners for easy access and delivery.
- “We consider the above channels as effective, seamless means of getting across to our members with any form of palliative,” he said.
Abumisi also pointed out that NUP members face persistent challenges requiring immediate resolution. These challenges include pension harmonization issues, the omission of the 2015 pension review, and the non-payment of arrears for pension increments of 15 per cent, and 33 per cent, as well as consequential adjustments from 2007, 2010, and 2019.
Another pressing concern is the delay in releasing monthly accrued rights to contributory pensioners, leading to severe hardships. The total accumulated accrued rights now amount to approximately N140 billion.
- “We hereby call on the Federal Government to intervene promptly to prevent untimely deaths among this group of pensioners,” he implored.
On Thursday, President Bola Tinubu approved the payment of N25,000 monthly grants to vulnerable pensioners included in the expanded National Social Register of the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, made this announcement during a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) at Labour House, Abuja.
Edu has directed her ministry to commence grant payments to beneficiaries starting from the next month.
Edu explained that the President’s commitment to providing N25,000 for 15 million households for three months was announced in his Independence Day speech.
- “The President mentioned very clearly that vulnerable pensioners should be immediately captured in the National Social Register and benefit from the Conditional Cash Transfer, as part of the national social safety net expansion.
- “This was made clear in his speech on Independence Day where he committed N25,000 for 15 million households for three months,” she stated
She appealed to the NLC to assist in the rapid collation of data for potentially vulnerable pensioners to ensure they receive the grant.
In response, the NLC president commended the initiative but emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of poverty to effectively support pensioners and workers.
He called for broader social welfare interventions and job creation to combat poverty effectively.