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Some Pensioners Earn As Little As N4,000 Monthly, Union Alleges

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Some Pensioners Earn As Little As N4,000 Monthly, Union Alleges

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has lamented that some pensioners still earn as low as N4,000 a month despite the high rate of inflation occasioned by the devaluation of the naira.

The NUP, therefore, called on the government to ensure that as the national minimum wage is about to be reviewed upward, there is a minimum amount which pensioners can earn.

National President, NUP, Dr. Abel Afolayan, said this at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said, “It will interest you to know that some pensioners still earn as low as N4,000 when the current minimum wage is N18,000.

“Recently I bought a bag of rice for N16,500. With the present economic situation in the country, it is unacceptable.

“It is inhuman for any worker or pensioner to earn less than N30,000 monthly. Whatever is finally approved as the national minimum wage should also apply to pensioners as national minimum pension with a corresponding circular clearly stating minimum pension.”

Afolayan said that having served for 35 years or more, it would be wrong to neglect senior citizens.

He asked Nigerians to join the push for national minimum pension because every worker will one day become a pensioner.

While thanking the Federal Government for the release of N22.4billion to settle the long-awaited pension liabilities of the defunct Nigerian Airways, Afolayan said there was a need for the federal and state governments to do more.

The NUP President lamented that the Federal Government had yet to pay the 12-month arrears of the 33 per cent pension increase since 2010.

He said all pensioners would picket the office of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate if their demands were not met within 21 days.

Afolayan added, “Another important issue is the non-payment of the balance of 12-month arrears of the 33 per cent pension increase of 2000. Needless to say, the payment of the balance of the arrears is long overdue.

“We had made several submissions and appeals at different fora to the Federal Government through PTAD for this payment but to no avail.

“Consequently and having been pushed to the wall, we are compelled to issue a 21-day ultimatum to PTAD in compliance with extant labour laws after which if no payment is made. Pensioners would embark on a protest to picket PTAD and other relevant offices.”

Speaking with our correspondent, however, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, urged the pensioners to be patient.

IKeazor said the 12-month arrears were 2010 matter. She added that PTAD had already begun taking steps to clear them.

She said, “The arrears they are being owed have been there since 2010. We just paid the police 12-month arrears in August as well as that of customs, immigration and prisons service.

“It only remains the civil service pension department that the outstanding is 12 months and they will be cleared as government releases money. The arrears of the parastatals is 24 months but they will all be cleared.”

Credit: Punch

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BREAKING: FG Proposes Extension Of Fuel Subsidy Removal By 18 Months, Seeks To Amend PIA

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BREAKING: NNPC Increases Petrol Price, To Sell For N170/Litre

The Federal Government is proposing to extend the period for the implementation of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, by 18 months.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, announced this on Tuesday while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja.

He disclosed that the government has concluded plans to approach the National Assembly to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

“We are proposing an 18-month extension but what the National Assembly is going to approve is up to them,” the minister said. “We would approve an 18-month extension and then it is up to the National Assembly to look at it and pass the amendment as they see it.

“With assent by the President on August 16, 2021, the PMS subsidy removal was therefore expected to take place effective February 16, 2022. However, following extensive consultations with all key stakeholders within and outside the government, it has been agreed that the implementation period for the removal of the subsidy should be extended.

“This extension will give all the stakeholders time to ensure that the implementation is carried out in a manner that ensures all necessary modalities are in place to cushion the effect of the PMS subsidy removal, in line with prevailing economic realities.

“The President assures that his administration will continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of all Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.”

Sylva, who chairs the PIA Implementation Committee, stressed that the decision of the executive arm of government to seek an amendment of the law was not politically motivated.

Rather, he explained that such a move has become necessary to halt the potential suffering of the vulnerable in the society.

The minister believes other measures such as the Dangote refinery, the Port Harcourt refinery, and other modular refineries will have significantly come on stream by the end of the year.

According to him, the new PIA provides for unrestricted market pricing for PMS from the effective date.

Sylva, however, stated that the PIA also envisaged the potential for supply disruption with its resultant effect on the economy.

“Consequently, it provides for a window of six months from the effective date for the government to request the services of NNPC Limited as the supplier of last resort.

“This is to forestall supply disruptions and guide market readiness preparatory to migration to the deregulated pricing regime,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari, he stated, has assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of the citizens, especially the most vulnerable.

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Former Lagos SSG Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya Dies At 74

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Former Secretary to the Lagos State Government Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya has died after a brief illness.

It was learnt that Adeniran-Ogunsanya, who served as SSG under former Governor Babatunde Fashola, died on Tuesday.

She was reportedly in a comma for a few days at the Lagos State University (LASUTH) before her death.

The Ikorodu-born grassroots politician and daughter of chairman of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPN) in the Second Republic Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya was apex leader of the Lagos4Lagos movement which recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Her illness prevented her from attending the group’s official defection ceremony at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday, January 22.

Details later…

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Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Amends Charge Against Fani-Kayode

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering.

Fani-Kayode is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC had earlier preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6 billion money laundering against the defendants before the former trial judge, Justice Mohammed Aikawa.

The defendants had each pleaded not guilty to the counts and were granted bail.

Hearing of the case had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were being led in evidence before the trial judge was transferred out of the Lagos division of the court.

The case was subsequently assigned to a new trial judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants had to start the case from the beginning (de novo).

At Monday’s proceedings, the amended 17-count charge was read over to the defendants and they each pleaded not guilty.

After the plea, the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo asked the court for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), however, asked the court to allow the defendants to continue on the existing bail conditions granted by the former trial judge.

In a short ruling, the court allowed the defendants to continue on their existing bail conditions. He adjourned the case to March 11, for trial.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.

They were alleged to have at various times, unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.

In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.

The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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