The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) chapter in Kano State demanded the urgent payment of approximately N36 billion in unpaid retiree gratuities in a protest match held in Kano on Thursday 6th October 2022.
Speaking to reporters at a peaceful demonstration in support of the Kano State Union of Pensioners, the chairman of the NLC chapter, Comrade Kabiru Ado Minjibir, lamented the perilous situation of pensioners as a result of the stagnation of their benefits over the previous six years.
“Illegal withdrawals by various ministries and government agencies from the depreciating monthly pensions of retirees” was what Minjibir, who led the march from the Emir’s House to the Government House, decried.
He said that between January 2021 and August 2022, over N3.4 billion was taken out of state and local government pensioners’ monthly benefits that had neither been filed with pension fund administrators (PFAs) nor been deposited into known accounts.
“As we speak, the current outstanding gratuities and other benefits as of June 2022 stand at over N36 billion. In the case of unremitted 17 percent contributions from defaulting government agencies that stand at over N69 billion, the deductions were part of our contributions from the pension, which were supposed to be remitted to administrators. These agencies failed to remit the funds.” he said.
The state pensioners union’s chairman, Comrade Salisu Ahmad Gwale, expressed concern that more than 34,000 of his members were living in extreme poverty as a result of the devaluation of their monthly benefits.
He is concerned because numerous pensioners have passed away while battling for their pensions.
Usman Bala, Chief of Staff to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, welcomed the demonstrators and blamed previous administrations for their indifference, but he reassured the populace that the current administration was committed to resolving the issue.