Retirees Condemn FG’s Refusal To Review Pensions
The Federal Government’s retirees under the Defined Benefits Scheme have decried the non-review of their pensions as stipulated by the law.
They said this in a protest letter titled ‘Apathy and delay in review of pension,’ which was addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and signed by the National Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and Federal Civil Service Pensioners Branch, Mr Christian Azunna.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; the Chairman, Salaries, Income and Wages Commission; and the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, were also copied in the letter.
Part of the letter read, “We, the entire pensioners of the Defined Benefits Scheme, feel constrained to call the attention of the government to the apparent delay in the review of pensions, as it relates to this category.
“It is rather regrettable to note that the issue of pension has persistently remained relegated, in spite of the prominence accorded it in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Section 173, subsection (i)-(iv).”
Instructively, it stated, the provisions of the constitution stipulated that pension should be reviewed every five years, with or without salary review.
“This implies that in the event of simultaneous review, the negotiation process, including the variation, ought to be simultaneous as well.
“It therefore becomes excruciatingly painful that government would rather decide to polarise the process, as evidenced in the negotiations and release of the circular to the effect thereof, in utter disregard to the statutes,” it stated.
The union added that the seeming indifference of the government in this regard, doubtlessly resulted in the drag and fragmented implementation of the last increase of July 2010, which equally caused the payment to drag for well over eight years, between July 2010 and 2018.
“This is a clear evidence of apathy in the administration of pension,” it stated.
The union stated that the consideration of the previous experience as enunciated, had stirred up its apprehension, hence, the decision to remind the government of the ugly trend, in order to avoid a repetition, as well as save the retirees from further torture.
It added, “It is therefore in the light of the foregoing that we are requesting government to attend to this issue without hesitation.
“Let it be re-emphasised that the apprehension of pensioners across the federation has been growing steadily.
“It may also interest the government to note that a lot of efforts have been made over the years by the leaders of the union to pacify the members, whose agitation has increased profusely that it is becoming difficult to contain within our limits.
“They have unequivocally expressed reservations over the seeming indifference of the government in the handling of pensions and their resolve to voice out their frustration in the strongest terms, which may lead to vehement protest.”