The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has raised concerns over its exclusion from the national minimum wage committee, denouncing the omission as a disregard for retired workers’ welfare in the country. In a statement issued in Abuja, the National President of NUP, Godwin Abumisi, warned of nationwide protests, even threatening to lead pensioners in protests to express their grievances.
Abumisi emphasized the urgency of including NUP in the national minimum wage review committee to ensure that pensioners are not left out when the new national wage takes effect. He stressed that the omission violates constitutional provisions and undermines the rights of pensioners, as outlined in Sections 173(3) and 210(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The union proposed a minimum pension of N100,000 monthly to the tripartite committee, aligning with the N200,000 national minimum wage proposal by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). Abumisi insisted that anything short of this amount would be met with strong resistance from pensioners.
Contrary to the assumption that NUP’s interests are protected by its affiliation with the NLC, the union clarified that this does not adequately represent their realities and advocated for direct inclusion in the minimum wage committee.
Highlighting the dire situation faced by pensioners at the state level, Abumisi criticized Southeast states for their treatment of retirees, citing meager monthly payments ranging from N450 to N12,000 in various states. He commended Kaduna State for paying N30,000 and Plateau State for offering N20,000 as the lowest monthly pay.
Abumisi challenged state governments’ claims of inability to afford previous wage reviews despite increased federal allocations, describing such actions as unacceptable and unpardonable. He expressed confidence that President Bola Tinubu would intervene and direct the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, to engage with NUP leadership for representation on the committee.
The NUP’s stance underscores the urgency of addressing pensioners’ welfare and ensuring their inclusion in vital decision-making processes affecting their livelihoods.