Pensioners in the country have appealed to members of the National Assembly to give legal backing to national minimum pension bill through an act of parliament.
In a communique issued at the end of a zonal meeting of the group by the secretary of the NUP in the North Central zone, Comrade Abraham Gana, the pensioners said that when passed into law, the bill would serve as a great relief to all categories of pensioners in the country.
Comrade Gana, who also commended the national president of the union, Dr Abel Afolayan, for taking the national leadership of the union to the National Assembly to lobby the lawmakers, said that the law would improve the living condition of pensioners when passed.
The communiqué, however, condemned the non-chalant attitude of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) which it said agitated and struggled for new minimum wage for workers across board in 2019 and excluded the case of pensioners in the exercise, adding that presently, many pensioners earn the sum of N5,000.00 or even less as pension every month.
The communiqué noted with great concern that when workers’ salaries were reviewed in 2010 and 2015 respectively, pensioners were not taken care of in the two exercises and the same thing also happened when the bill for the new minimum wage law was enacted in 2019.
The communiqué, however, expressed joy that the ninth Senate has vowed to do everything within its powers to ensure that pensioners’ plight are adequately addressed and the ugly situation redressed while the Senate committee on Establishment and Public Service has also put pleas in place to commence a joint meeting of all government officials connected with irregularities in the payment of pensioners’ benefits with a view to regularizing everything.
It expressed the hope that the present efforts and struggle of Dr Afolayan and his team, this ugly situation will be removed when the National Assembly enacts a Minimum Pension Law, in the same manner, the National Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was approved and enacted as law by the National Assembly.
The communiqué then appealed to Dr Afolayan and his team to ensure that his present struggle for pensioners’ welfare see the light of the day as it assured the NUP leadership of the Zone’s unflinching support, loyalty, cooperation and prayer.