Despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent approval of a consequential adjustment in pensions resulting from the implementation of the national minimum wage, the least paid retired civil servant on Grade Level 01 continues to receive a paltry N23,426 monthly pension. In addition, a civil servant who is fortunate enough to retire at the highest level after serving on Grade level 17 will now receive N188,688 monthly pensions.
This was contained in the table of consequential pension adjustments resulting from the implementation of the national minimum wage, which was recently released by Ekpo Nta, Acting Chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission.
Nta noted that the table displayed the ‘absolute increases,’ and that the approval is effective as of April 18, 2019, the date President Buhari signed the new National Minimum Wage into law.
“It should be noted that retirees from agencies that are not in any of the above-mentioned salary structures will not be eligible for these pension increases,” he said. However, in accordance with Sections 173 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and 3 (P) of the NSIWC Act, these agencies should apply to the Commission to determine the appropriate increases that will apply to their retirees.”
According to the new pension table, a retiree on GL 01 who is currently receiving a monthly pension of N14,733 will receive a 59% increase, bringing his pension to N23,426 and resulting in a N8,692 increase.
Pensioners on GL 08 received a 12% increase from N45,107 to N50,520, a N5,412 increase, while retirees on GL 17, the highest level in civil service, received a 9% increase from N173, 108 to N188, 688, a N15,579. Responding to the meager increase in pension, Elder Actor Zal, General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), said the experience has challenged the union to intensify its campaign for a minimum pension.
He demanded a N30,000 minimum pension, the same as the national minimum wage, claiming that in the current economic climate, it would be difficult for a pensioner to survive on N23,426 per month.