Nigerian retirees, united under the banner of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), have urged the federal and state governments to quickly execute constitutional provisions requiring a five-year rise in pensions.
The NUP also encouraged the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to be more aggressive in conducting salary and pension reviews and to advise the government to follow the applicable constitutional provisions in this regard.
Godwin Abumisi, the National President of the NUP, lamented the failure of most state governments to pay pensioners their pensions on a regular basis while speaking to members at the 20th edition of the Pensioners Day celebration in Abuja over the weekend.
He also expressed disappointment and pain at the fact that, despite the fact that the federal government had issued an enabling circular for consequential pension adjustments effective April 1, 2019, most state governments had yet to implement the circular as issued by the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission.
“It is very crucial for me at this moment to call on the federal government to rise to the occasion by complying with the constitutional provisions and not to wait until the pensioners grow restless and upset before the government begins to run afoul of the law and order,” he added.
He maintained that paying pensioners a monthly pension is a right, not a privilege.
Pensioners are using the occasion, according to Abumisi, to appeal to state governors who are failing to pay monthly pensions to retirees to have a change of heart and do the right thing.
“As the father of the nation, I also appeal to the president to assist us in our appeal to recalcitrant governors to stop inhumane treatment of pensioners and find a constitutional means of ensuring that all the various bailouts to these states are not diverted but are judiciously used to the benefit of Nigerian workers and pensioners in terms of payment of salaries, pensions, and gratuities,” he said.
Abumisi, on the other hand, praised President Muhammadu Buhari for prioritizing the payment of pensioners’ pensions, gratuities, and other benefits. He claimed the NUP has a good working relationship with PENCOM, PTAD, the National Assembly, and the Federation’s Office of the Head of Service.