The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to include the pensioners in the palliative being distributed to vulnerable Nigerians to alleviate their suffering as a result of COVID-19 lockdown across the country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, the NUP said the pensioners should be number one beneficiaries of any palliative by the government because they are the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic due to their old age.
Besides, the statement signed by the General Secretary of the NUP, Elder Actor Zal, said the lockdown and movement restriction would affect the elderly, who are mostly pensioners.
He, therefore, advised President Buhari to, through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, include the pensioners as the government begins the distribution to the most vulnerable.
To ensure that the palliatives get to genuine pensioners, the general secretary advised the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, to liaise with the National Secretariat of the NUP, in Abuja for proper identification through her state and local government offices.
The general secretary said: “The Nigeria Union of pensioners (NUP) national headquarters has made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to include Nigerian pensioners as beneficiaries in the palliatives to the vulnerable Nigerians, to cushion the effects of the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pensioners.”
The union noted that “pensioners are one of the most vulnerable in the country and therefore appealed to the presidential Task Force on covid -19 to liaise with the union on how to get the palliative distribution to the real pensioners in all the nooks and crannies of the country.”
The statement noted that the union has widespread membership and the required structure in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT Abuja, as well as in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
“Therefore, the union is well entrenched to ensure the distribution of the palliatives to their members at the grassroots with limited hitch.” The statement added.
The union said it has also written to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Socio Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Faruk, on the imperative of including the pensioners in the palliative.