The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the National Assembly, the Pension Commission (PenComm) and other concerned stakeholders to fast track the unionization of pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
This according to a communique issued after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of NUP, held in Abuja, is to enable the NUP ensure that rights of pensioners under the scheme are protected.
The communique signed by NUP Pesident, Dr. Abel Afolayan and the General Secretary, Elder Actor Zal, said the meeting exhaustively discussed various issues affecting the union.
The union acknowledged and commended the laudable achievements recorded during the short tenure of the present National Executive led by Dr. Afolayan such as the renovation of Ibadan office and acquisition of new National Secretariat in central city area of Abuja.
The union also commended the part payment of 33% pension increase arrears by the Federal Government despite the current economic recession in the country. but it implored thee government to pay all outstanding arrears to pensioners in other pension sectors, comprising Retired Police, NIPOST, Electricity, Railways and University pensioners.
The NEC-in-session appealed to Federal Government to approve N25,000 as minimum monthly pension.
The Federal Government was also requested to comply with the provision of Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution 1999 (as amended) in sections 173(3) and 210(3) which stipulate that pension shall be reviewed every five years or whenever workers wages are reviewed whichever comes earlier.
The communique read: “That the union feels concerned about the sufferings being experienced by pensioners in local governments including primary school retirees. In this connection NEC-in-session appealed to federal government to re-introduce, re-enforce and commence with immediate effect the payment of 5% counter-part funding which was introduced in 1987 but stopped in 2010 without any just cause.
“That NEC-in session aligned itself with the call for autonomy for local governments in Nigeria as it will facilitate better pension management at the local level by local governments themselves.
“NEC-in-session praised states such as Jigawa, Anambra, Enugu, Yobe, Lagos, Cross Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Sokoto, which are paying in full monthly pensions to their pensioners as at when due and appealed to defaulting governors to follow suit.
“The meeting approved sending of a national delegation to be led by the National President to persuade and make passionate appeal to the Imo State governor to show mercy, concern, help and greater sensitivity to the plight of his state pensioners in respect of the enormity of unpaid pension arrears and gratuities.”