NUP calls for declaration of state of emergency on pension gratuity payment in Kano

•Demands payment of N23 billion outstanding gratuities

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the Government of Kano State to urgently declare a state of emergency on pension and gratuity payment of liabilities in the state.

The union has also begged the Kano State Governor, Umaru Ganduje to immediately commence the payment of N23 billion outstanding gratuities from July 2016 till date.

Besides, the NUP “humbly requests for payment of already deducted remittances of contributory pension into the Retirement Savings Account of pensioners through the Pension Board of Trustees, Kano State.”

The National President of NUP, Dr. Abel Afolayan, and the Kano State Chairperson of NUP,  Comrade Kabiru Minjibir, made the demands during the official commissioning of the NUP, Kano State ultra modern secretariat, donated to the union by the state government.

In his speech, Dr. Afolayan appealed to the state governor to take pensioners into confidence and appoint the qualified ones amongst them into his cabinet to enable them bring their experience to bear “in the progressive administration of the state under your able leadership.”

The NUP national president said he humbly made these requests and demands “in spite of the high level performance of your administration in every facet of pension administration,” adding, “you are not yet done with us, and like the proverbial Oliver Twist, we shall always ask for more.”

Dr. Afolayan commended Ganduje on the many ways his government has impacted on pensioners in the state, especially in the area of regular and up-to-date payment of monthly pensions.

He said: “Since the advent of the administration of Governor Umaru Ganduje in 2015, you have taken pension administration to the next level. You have set a new pace for all others to follow nationally.

“We are appreciatively indebted to you for your administration’s giant strides that have impacted positively on the lives of pensioners in Kano State.

“Your administration has continued with steady payment of monthly pensions as and when due since 2015 till date. We can therefore confidently say that this administration is not owing pensioners a kobo as far as monthly pensions are concerned.

“Your Administration donated this gigantic edifice to the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Kano State Council, fully equipped with a standby generator and a borehole.

“This unprecedented rare gift from the Kano State Government under your able leadership is highly laudable and commendable. Posterity will forever judge you well. You are indeed a rare leader.”

The Kano State Chairperson, Comrade Minjibir, also thanked the governor for his efforts but expressed the union’s regrets in the area of many years of gratuity, pension arrears, and death benefit for families of deceased pensioners yet to be paid.

Comrade  Minjibir said: “However, despite the aforementioned encomiums, I must say that it is with mixed feelings that I  managed to attend today’s event taking into consideration the fate of our retirees waiting for their retirement benefits ranging from gratuity, pension arrears or death benefit for deceased family of our late pensioners as well as the uncertainties bedeviling the current and upcoming pensioners regarding the situation of monthly pension and outstanding liabilities in the state.

“I am concerned that while we are here celebrating the new NUP Secretariat, majority of our retirees are at home in hunger and despair, some could not access medical care, others were waiting for their benefits to give out their daughters to marriage who are long overdue to be in their husbands houses while others are waiting to have an accommodation of their own after complete 35 years without a house.”

“While we are here celebrating a brand new NUP Secretariat, the fate of our retirees is hanging in the horizon. The amount of pending retirement benefits is skyrocketing by day, more and more workers are retiring from service monthly and by implication, the figure is accumulating.

“While we continue to appreciate you for having the workers and pensioners at heart, it is also our duty to draw your attention on the need to take urgent and necessary steps to address this burning issue of life and death.

“We are aware of all the efforts made by your administration since your first tenure in office to address this lingering issue which you inherited from the previous administration ranging from non-remittance of 17 per cent and eight per cent government and workers contributions respectively as provided by the 2006 Kano Pension and Gratuity Law.

“The situation is alarming that warrants for the declaration of state of emergency on pension and gratuity payment of liabilities in the state. It is time to reflect and act in the spirit of the labour of our heroes’ past, shall never be in vain.”

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