Pensioners in the South-West zone under the umbrella of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has kicked against the proposed bill on the removal of workers’ salaries and wages from the exclusive list.
This position was made known by the retirees at the end of the bi-monthly meeting held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Thursday.
The submitted that the bill if passed into law would further worsen the plight of workers and pensioners in the country.
They argued that the bill if scaled through would empower state governors to intimidate, maltreat and punish workers.
The meeting was attended by pensioners from Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo and Lagos States.
The Public Relations Officer of NUP, South-West zone, Comrade Olusegun Abatan, wondered why the salaries and wages of the president, vice president and other political appointees would remain on the exclusive list while salaries and wages of workers be moved to the concurrent list.
He said: “The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, South-West zone is in alignment with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the demand that salaries and wages should not be removed from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.
“All pensioners in the whole of the federation are in support of this because we know that if this happens to workers, it will be worse for pensioners because at that level, the governors will do nothing than to start intimidating and punishing workers and they will start giving them whatever they want to give them.
“I wonder why the government wants to remove salaries and wages from the exclusive list and at the same time keep their own salaries in the exclusive list.
“The salaries of the president and the vice president, Senators, House of Representative members and Commissioners are consolidated and on the exclusive list, why are they not moving their own salaries from the exclusive list to the concurrent list? And it is only the workers who are being given peanuts that you want to remove their salaries and wages from the exclusive list.”
He accused state governments of insensitivity to pensioners’ plights, saying the federal and some state governments had refused to implement the 33.4 per cent pension increment since 2010.
“As I speak with you, Ondo State is owing its pensioners from November 2020 to date and we want to appeal to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to address the issue of non-payment pensions of our members in Ondo State promptly.
“We don’t want to believe that the pension of our members is being used for non-essential pension matters.”
Abatan said the national body of the union had given the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum to address the pension increase, “otherwise pensioners will go on the street to demonstrate.
“Ogun State like other governments in the nation has violated and still violating the constitutional provisions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended section 210(3) where it is stated that pension should be increased concomitantly as wages of workers are increased.
“Ogun State government has refused to implement the pension increase of our members since 2010, I’m talking of the 33.4 percent pension increase,” he said.