Lagos Pensioners, aged retirees vow to protest ill-treatment by govt

Lagos Pensioners, aged retirees vow to protest ill-treatment by govt

Members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, Lagos Chapter, have vowed to take to the streets of Lagos in protest against the ill-treatment, unpaid pensions, poor welfare of the elderly, and outright neglect of their members.

The pensioners stated this during a press conference held at the Islanders Hotel, Mushin, Lagos, Thursday to express their grievances, saying “we say no to ‘You’ve retired, go-and-die’ attitude of the state government and its officials.

The state chairman of the group, Rev Oluremi Johnson, said several efforts have been made through letters to the governor, but officials refused to let it see the light of day; meetings and consultation were not allowed, and for over two years we have been groping in the dark.  He added that if nothing is done after two weeks, they will embark on a protest to press home their demands.

“We also express our appreciation to your administration for the implementation of the 33% pension increase of 2014, a feat that was the first in the whole of 36 States of the Federation.

“Mr. Governor, Sir, your track records as a former commissioner and former MD/CEO of LSDPC in the state are exceptionally sterling.

“However, we noticed that our correspondences to you have not been made available to you by overzealous government officials, and this had resulted in our matters not being brought to your attention promptly. These include:

“Strict compliance with the constitutional provision that states that pension should be increased every 5 years or whenever salaries of workers are increased, whichever comes earlier, in line with Sections 173 (3) and 210 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

We want consequential adjustment on our pensions in accordance with the consequential adjustment done to workers in 2019.

“That Pensioners in Lagos State should also have a living minimum pension of #50,000. It is disheartening to inform you that we still have pensioners earning #1,800 per month in Lagos.

State.

“Payment of backlog of gratuities and pension arrears; Harmonization of pensions; Recognition of Members of Our Union as done to Membership of other Unions, Market Women, etc.

“Provision of Utility Vehicle for our union, as was done to our sister Unions, office accommodation, we occupy rented apartments.

“In view of the ongoing discussion on the proposed palliatives, which has taken center stage of our polity, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) as a critical stakeholder and an integral part of

of the society wishes to add her voice, bearing in mind the vulnerability of her members. The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, as the statutory custodian as well as the voice of Nigerian pensioners across the length and breadth of the country, wishes to categorically and unequivocally state and remind the government that pensioners should be included in the planned palliative care package, being one of the low-income earners in the country.

“Also worth mentioning are the pending liabilities of our members under the Contributory (Mandatory) Pension Scheme who are being short-changed by 15% of the 2007 pension review, 33% of the 2010 pension review, the omission of the 2015 pension review, and the consequential adjustment of 2019. We believe wholeheartedly.

The Secretary of the Union, Comrade Olukayode Bada, stated that all efforts in the past have failed because state officials are not helping our matters.

“The last time we met the commissioner, he advised we should meet quarterly to review issues that affect us, but no meeting was held in the last two years. All efforts to get him ready for the meeting proved abortive.

He noted that those people we had thought will help solve our issues were actually hindering them. We have decided to go public and demand to see the governor, and if after 14 days, nothing is done, we will protest to Alausa.”

Yes, the governor is doing well, but there are areas that they have to look into. We have written several times to the governor, but the staff and aide will not pass the letters to the governor, and that is why we have to protest.

“We were in the system and did our best and deserve better treatment, they are only showing us how they will be treated when they retire.

“They should not say, ‘as you have retired, go and die.” They will one day be in our shoes.

We have graduates who have no jobs, and we take care of them with our pensions.

The vice chairman, Dr. Titus Gregory Aderemi, said, the protest action ought to have taken place over a year ago after all areas of communications with the government were blocked, adding that the entire membership is prepared for the protest should the governor fail to see how to give us our rights.

“Go to the hospital, on papers, the aged are supposed to be treated free, but you will find out to your dismay that the treatment the aged gets is unfortunate.

“The elderly people need money for their welfare, to maintain good health, and to care for those children who have no jobs. What is N1,800 monthly pension to the elderly? Will that take care of the elderly?

“Before the election, the Governor called us and sought for our votes, after he won the election, he gave the civil servants increase in salaries, he neglected the pensioners, to me, that is wicked,” he said.

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