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In a promising development for pensioners in the federal civil service, there are indications that monthly pensions might be increased in the coming year. This revelation stems from the report on the harmonization of pensions submitted to the Federal Government by the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC).

According to reliable sources, the proposed raise is expected to benefit both Federal Government pensioners under the new pension scheme and those under the previous scheme.

The NSIWC, in a meeting with the executive committee of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, conveyed its commitment to pursuing the recommendations outlined in the report. During the meeting, Chairman Ekpo Nta addressed queries from the pensioners, shedding light on the commission’s actions.

A statement issued by Emmanuel Njoku, the Head of the commission’s Press Unit, quoted Nta as saying, “The commission had forwarded to the government, sometime in May 2023, its report on the harmonization of pensions. This is after synthesizing inputs from relevant stakeholders, including pension unions. The commission is actively following up on this matter, given its potential impact on considering pension increases in 2024.”

When pressed for clarification on the impending raise, Njoke, a representative of the NSIWC, clarified, “The raise is going to be in accordance with the negotiated minimum wage for Federal Government workers, both in the current and previous pension schemes.”

Addressing concerns raised by pensioners about the non-receipt of recently approved palliatives, Nta assured them that relevant government organs were addressing these issues.

Gabriel Oladele, Chairman of the Committee on Pension NUP-ASU/Parastals, urged the NSIWC to intervene in the computation and deductions from pensions. In response, Nta affirmed that the commission would thoroughly examine these concerns based on the documents submitted by the union.

Emphasizing the consultative nature of the commission’s circulars, Nta stated, “Circulars are usually issued after wide consultations with major stakeholders, including the Federal Government. Anyone can seek clarification, as no agency is authorized to unilaterally amend them without the NWISC’s written consent.”

Looking ahead, Nta assured pensioners that the commission, as the secretariat of the Tripartite Committee of the National Minimum Wage, would facilitate preparations for the consideration of a new national minimum wage and the accompanying pension review in 2024.

In closing, Nta advised the union to engage with Health Maintenance Organisations for affordable health insurance covers and suggested scheduled free online zoom meetings as a safer alternative for the elderly members.

This development offers hope to pensioners, marking a potential positive shift in their financial well-being in the upcoming year.


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