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‘Include Us In Palliative Plan, We’re Impoverished’ — Pensioners Lament

Tuesday, 25 July 2023

Nigeria Union of Pensioners

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has asked the Federal Government to include members of the union in the proposed palliatives to cushion the economic hardship occasioned by the petrol subsidy removal.

Recall that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration earlier proposed the payment of N8,000 monthly to 12 million households to cushion the hardship caused by the subsidy removal.

However, after criticisms of it being unsustainable, Tinubu ordered an immediate review of the cash transfer.

Godwin Abumisi, NUP’s President, at a press conference in Abuja, said, including members of the Union in the plan is important owing to their vulnerability.

“The NUP wishes to categorically state and remind the federal government that pensioners must be included in the planned palliatives package, being one of the low-income earners in the country.

“There is no gainsaying that the removal of the fuel subsidy has further impoverished and pauperised the vulnerable Nigeria pensioners like other vulnerable group of persons in our society who are always struggling and battling for survival.

“We believe that if the proposed palliatives are religiously implemented to the letter on record time devoid of the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks, it will go a long way to calm down frayed nerves of the obvious angry Nigerians,” Abumisi said.

According to him, for the government to achieve its objective of cash transfer to the poor, it must consider the involvement and participation of organised unions.

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The unions, he said, would have the records of their members resident in both urban and rural areas.

“The leaders of the unions/bodies who are very visible could be easily held responsible and accountable in the event of any infractions or shortchanging of their members in accessing such funds.

“Pensioners across the board must also be considered for the proposed six months tax-free payment to public servants for six months as well as the payment of all outstanding liabilities to public/civil servants,” he added.

He said the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) pensioners under Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) are being owed various pension liabilities, including the 2015 pension increment which the union has been consistently pressing for.

The President who noted that members under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have been short-changed by 15 percent of the 2007 pension review, added that, 33 percent of the 2010 pension review was also short-changed.

He also furthered that there was an omission of the 2015 pension review and the consequential adjustment of 2019.

Abumisi called on the Federal Government to ensure that whenever there is an upward review of salaries of civil servants, pensions should be reviewed alongside.

“We believe whole-heartedly that if the above pension reviews are paid to our members as part of the proposed palliatives, it will go a long way to ameliorate the living conditions of our members.

“We also call on the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress to always carry NUP along in the negotiation for any salary for workers in the country,” he added

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via: Information Nigeria

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