Pensioners demand creation of Ministry of Pension and Senior citizen
The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) used their 18th edition of Pensioners Day celebration on Wednesday, to demand urgent creation of a full-fledged Ministry of Pension and Senior Citizens Affairs in line with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
In his address during an event organised at the Labour House, Abuja, President of NUP, Dr Comd. Abel Afolayan said the creation of this ministry would help checked and address the plights and other issues concerning pensioners in the country.
He pointed out that if created, the new ministry will cater adequately for the whole welfare of pensioners, old people and senior citizens throughout Nigeria as it is practised in developed countries.
He said: “The union will very much appreciate it if the Buhari-led administration whose mantra of change has been globally acknowledged can approve the creation of a full-fledged Ministry of Pension and Senior Citizens Affairs in line with or like the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
“The ministry, if created will cater adequately for the welfare of pensioners, old people and senior citizens throughout Nigeria as it is practised in developed countries of the world. Closely related to this request is the retention and strengthening of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).”
The NUP President also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to ensure that the federal government revert to its regular payment of 5% counterpart fund into the local government fund which started as prescribed by the government but stopped sometimes ago without just whatsoever.
He said the stoppage of the payment has adversely affected regular payment of monthly pension to local government pensioners and primary school pensioners who are being paid from the fund.
On the issue of minimum pension, he regretted that the government has not complied with the Nigeria Constitution Section 173 (3) and 210 (3) which stated that pension should be reviewed every five years or whenever workers’ wages are reviewed or whichever comes first.
Even though the provision applies equally to federal and state governments, the union stated that none of the two tiers of government has adhered to it.
According to him, pensioners were due for pension review in 2015 but they were not considered for my review that year adding that the increase accrued from the 2010 review is yet to be paid by many states.