Pensioners threaten to curse govs

Demands N25,000 minimum pension

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), on Wednesday, warned all the state governors, who are owing pensioners many months of unpaid pensions and arrears, not to force the old citizens to pronounce curses on them with grey hairs.

The pensioners gave the warning as the union also demanded N25,000 minimum pension, regretting that many pensioners are still paid less than N5,000  monthly, even with the high rate of inflation and economic recession.

The president of NUP,  Abel Afolayan, while addressing the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union, in Abuja,  on Wednesday, regretted that many state pensioners were being owed over 12 months,

He, however, commended the governors of Lagos, Jigawa, Anambra, Enugu and Yobe states, saying, “these states are not owing our pensioners any monthly pensions and dues.”

He, however, admonished defaulting governors to make amends so that “old men will not be forced to pronounce  curses on them with their grey hairs.”

While the NUP demanded a new N25, 000 national minimum pension per month, the union called for the immediate payment of the 18 months of the 33 per cent pension arrears to the civil pensioners and 39 months arrears owed the police pensioners.

On their new demand, he   said that it was criminal for a pensioner to collect less than N5,000 monthly in this time of  economic recession.

Afolayan said the union entered into a long negotiation with the Federal Government for the upward review of pension, which finally yielded result when the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), directed that Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to issue a circular for 33 per cent pension increase effective broom July 1, 2010.

The executive secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangements Directorate (PTAD), Sharon Ikeazor, supported the position of NUP,  adding that civil pensioners were still owed 18 months, while the police pensioners  were owed 39 months.

She  said that PTAD was only able to offset some of the 42-month arrears based on available resources.