By Appolos Christian
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has given the Federal government a 21-day ultimatum to implement the new pension adjustment or face nationwide protests by the senior citizens.
The NUP lamented that the government has refused to carry out a new pension adjustment almost a decade after the last review was done.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the NUP national president, Dr Abel Afolayan, said having exhausted all avenues to press home their demand to no avail, the pensioners are left with no option than to embark on a nationwide protest.
He said the union was giving the government another 21 days in compliance with the Trade Unions Act to sign the submitted pension adjustment document.
The union said pensioners are still awaiting the approval of their own consequential adjustment of monthly pensions in compliance with the constitutional stipulation two years after the implementation of a national minimum wage.
It said sections 173 (3) and 210 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) provides that “Pensions shall be reviewed every five years or together with the salary reviews of workers, whichever comes earlier.”
The NUP national president said the last pension review exercise was done July 1, 2010, adding that the refusal to implement a new pension adjustment after more than a decade was in a flagrant disobedience to the constitution and a gross disrespect to senior citizens.
He stated: “It is instructive to inform you that the committee set up by the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, having completed its assignment, submitted the committee’s report to the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) since November, 2020, for onward transmission to the president for his assent. But regrettably, as we speak, the whereabouts of this important document is still unknown.
“It is unbelievable and worrisome that such a vital document as this is missing between the office of the SGF and the Presidency. How else can we presume or surmise when we have received no information on it for upward of four months now! Indeed, this singular uncaring and unconcerned attitude of the government smacks of insensitivity and ‘I don’t care attitude’ towards the Nigerian pensioners’ plight.
“The question now is: what is the offence of Nigerian pensioners to the government? Do they want us to die of hunger and penury considering the level of inflation in the country now? Why has it been so difficult for the government to comply with the above constitutional provisions which is her own creation for the welfare and wellbeing of the pensioners?”