By Appolos Christian
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), has said that government actions and inactions are the reason behind the untimely death of many pensioners in the country.
NUP therefore call on both Federal and State governments to ensure that welfare of pensioners is made a high priority in their agenda. The union also said that pensioners have served the nation meritoriously and are heroes whom labours should therefore be of necessity.
“May I clearly state this today, that it is not Coronavirus or by other virus that is killing pensioners, elderly people and senior citizens generally, it is the government actions and inactions that are sending them to their untimely graves.” Said, Dr. Abel Afolayan, the National President of NUP, in his address at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja.
“Our loud unanimously call to the Federal and State governments is therefore to ensure that pensioners’ welfare is made a number one in whatever they do at all times. We shall continue to put pressure on them and cry to high heavens that they should humanly address pensioners’ problems and stop killing us.
“We pensioners are among the heroes past, who have served this nation meritoriously. Our labours should therefore be of necessity, not be in vain”. He added.
Furthermore, NUP listed Governor Samuel Orthom, of Benue State, whom they said owe pensioners in his state between 24 and 40 months pension arrears, and Governor Hope Uzodinma, of Imo state as the topmost in their ‘bad book’, because of their nonpayment of pensions to their members.
On the activities of the union within the year, the NUP president said; “You will recall that I reported our efforts and visit to the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission on the minimum wage and salary increment enjoyed by workers last year. I am glad to inform you that the commission set up a Tripartite Committee with NUP and PTAD as members.
“The Committee met severally, and I am glad to report to you today that the Committee report has been accepted by the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Commission has already forwarded the report through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to Mr. President for his approval.”
Afolayan added: “This procedure may seem cumbersome to most of our members who wanted it done immediately. However, I must emphasize that, this is the procedure in salary/pension review. Similarly, we have been assured that immediately Mr. President gives his approval, the implementation of the increment shall be effective from April 2019, same as for the workers. Mr. President himself has given us that assurance.”