Say: “You’ve retired, go-and-die attitude’ of the state is unacceptable”
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 as well as unpaid pensions, poor welfare of the aged 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 to through letters to the governor but officials refused to let it see the light of the day, meetings and consultation were not allowed and for over two years we have been groping in the dark, adding that if nothing is done after two weeks, they will embark on protest to press home their demands.
“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 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.
“Also worth of mentioning is the pending liabilities of our members under the Contributory (Mandatory) Pension Scheme who are being short-changed of the 15% of the 2007 pension review, 33% of the 2010 pension review, omission of 2015 pension review and the consequential adjustment of 2019. We believe whole-heatedly.
The Secretary of the Union, Comrade Olukayode Bada, stated that all efforts in in past 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 effort to get him ready for the meeting proved abortive.”
He noted that those we had thought will help our issues were those hindering it. 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 severally 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 a better treatment, they are only showing us how they also 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 the the entire members are prepared for the protest should the governor failed to see us on how to give us our rights.
“Go to the hospital, on papers the aged are supposed to treated free, but you will find out to your dismay that the treatment the aged gets is unfortunate.
“The aged people need money for their welfare, to maintain good health and care for those children who have no jobs. What is N1,800 monthly pension to the aged? Will that take care of the aged?
“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.