NUP Urges FG To Intervene In Pensioners’ Hardships

Pensioners, NUP, FG, PensionThe Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has appealed to the Federal Government to probe acts of financial misappropriation in the nation’s pension administration.

The NUP President, Mr Abel Afolayan, said that the union is making the call in order to alleviate the sufferings of its members.

Speaking at a press conference to mark the 2016 Pensioners’ Day on Monday in Abuja, Mr Afolayan noted that the plight of pensioners in Nigeria was made worse by corrupt pension administrators.

He also decried the hardship the senior citizens face, compared to the civil war experience.

As their slogan states “rest is sweet after labour”; Afolayan believes it is not so as some of the retirees earn as little as 10,000 naira as monthly entitlement.

On his part, NUP Vice President, Ayuba Dalhatu, briefed reporters on the challenges they face with the pension transition arrangement directorate.

While December 12 is set aside to celebrate pensioners globally, Nigeria’s senior citizens have continued to talk about the challenges they face after retirement.

Pensioners Protest Unpaid Entitlement

nup protestMembers of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), under the aegis of Federal Contributory Pension Retirees Sector, have protested the alleged non-payment of their entitlement in the last 10 months by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).

At a peaceful protest held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, the retirees, carrying placards with various inscriptions, demanded a review of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to be limited to workers engaged from 2004 to 2014.

The members alleged that workers, who retired under the CPS, since August 2014 till date, are yet to collect their gratuity, a situation they said has made life unbearable to members.

In view of the alleged anomalies in the new scheme, the protesters said they want a return to the old scheme.

Delta State Pensioners Protest in Asaba

PensionersPensioners across Delta State under the aegis of Contributory Retirees Association have taken to the streets to complain of their outstanding payments and the neglect of the state in implementing the contribution pension scheme.

The pension protesters, led by Mr Eric Owviroro, took their protest to the State Pensions Board, State Secretariat and the State House of Assembly, where they were received by some government officials.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Mr Owviroro expressed the grievances of the pensioners to the Commissioner who came out to receive them.

The retirees, who gathered from different ministries in the state, defied the scorching sun, asking the state government to do the needful and address this issue.

Meanwhile, few days after the protest, the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, called a meeting which held at the Unity Hall to discuss the issues of the pensioners’ protest, which he said had been politicized, describing their actions as mischievous.

He disclosed that the State Government pays out the sum of N1.2 billion monthly as pension to retired civil servants in the state and has contributed over N18 billion since 2007 when it started implementing the Contributory Pension Scheme.

Members of the Contributory Retirees Association, who were involved in the protest, were not present at the meeting as it was gathered that they refused to honor the invitation. Some persons, however, alleged that they were not actually invited.

Although the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Delta State chapter, Ogbueshi Robert Chukwuyem, claimed that the association was unaware of the protest, he apologized for the actions of the association, attributing their action to misinformation. He disclosed that plans were ongoing to integrate members of the association into the NUP as an umbrella body of all pensioners in Nigeria.

At the end of the meeting, it was revealed that the State Government has since the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme made a counterpart contribution of over N18 billion, with workers contributing over N13 billion to the fund. The money is with the PFAs (Pension Fund Administrators).

Present in this meeting was the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Charles Adujah; Commissioner for Finance, Olorogun Kenneth Okpara, and Chairman, State Pension Board, Mrs Christian Siakpere, alongside the Accountant-General of the state.

 

Kaduna Government Pays N6.73 Billion to 206 Pensioners

Ebola virusThe Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero has distributed cheques totaling  N6.73  Billion to 206 pensioners who retired between  2005 to 2012.

The cheques, which also covered death benefits of deceased civil servants  were presented during a ceremony which took place on Monday at the Hassan Katsina House, Kawo, Kaduna.

206 pensioners collected their cheques, while 77  Next of Kins collected on behalf of deceased relatives.

Handing over  the cheques to the beneficiaries, Governor Yero,  said his administration have  successfully cleared all pension arrears owed retirees in the State Civil Service and was at the verge of settling all gratuities of retirees and next of kins of deceased civil servants.

The Governor also said his administration has paid entitlements to some workers dismissed during the military era. He enjoined the beneficiaries  to use their money prudently to uplift their standard of living and assured that his administration would sustain the policy of prompt payment of pensions and gratuity.

The State  Chairman of  Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Abdul  Kwarbai, thanked the governor for responding to the plight of retirees who have served the state diligently, stating that  the presentation of the cheques was a fulfillment of a promise made by the governor.

He also declared the support of the NUP members to the political aspiration of the Governor  ahead of the 2015 general elections. Some of the beneficiaries also thanked the state government for bringing smile to their faces having suffered for too long to collect the fruits of their labour.

Few months ago, the Kaduna State Government paid a total of N4.7billion as backlog of retirement benefits for local government workers  for the past seven years.

 

Osun Pensioners Protest Non Payment Of Gratuities

pensionersOsun State pensioners on Monday staged a protest demanding payment of gratuities owed them since year 2008 till date.

Channels Television’s correspondent, who witnessed the event, said the protest held at Olaiya junction in Osogbo, the state capital said the protest caused traffic gridlock preventing many from going to their respective destinations.

Olaiya junction is a major interchange in the heart of Osogbo which leads to the state secretariat and many other companies in and out of the state capital.

The protest which was not the first by the aggrieved pensioners took another dimension as the older citizens blocked the interchange which resulted in a traffic gridlock, despite the presence of security personnel.

The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Osun State and Gabriel Adesoji, the secretary of the body told Channels Television that they had  seven axes to grind with government, maintaining that the major ones are the non-payment of their gratuities and pension arrears as well as late payment of their pensions.

Some of the protesters complained that life had not been the same after retirement.

However, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Sunday Akere, called on the pensioners to be patient with the government especially since there had been a reduction in the federal allocation accruing to the state.