Ola Ajayi, Ibadan
PENSIONERS across the country can now heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Government yesterday promised the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), that the circular for the implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage would be released alongside with that of the workers.
The President, NUP, Dr Abel Afolayan, disclosed this at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Union in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
He said, the Acting Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Mr Ekpo Nta, had assured them that the circular would be released at the same time.
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While giving his address at the meeting, said, “the Federal Government and the organized labour finally signed the agreement on minimum wage and the attendant adjustment for all categories of workers. The next in line is the pensioners.”
“I know all of you are very agitated to know how far we have gone on this matter, especially when it has become a common knowledge that pensioners are already due for a review since 2015, having last enjoyed a meagre 33.4% increment since July 2010.
“After several attempts, on Thursday 31 October 2019, as many of you might have seen and read in the news media, we were able to sit together at a meeting with the Chairman, Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Mr Ekpo Nta. The Chairman assured us that the circular tor the wage increase will be issued simultaneously with the workers, having tabled the issues together at the tripartite negotiation meeting where the agreement on Minimum Wage was reached.
“We are together with the NLC on this struggle for the Minimum Pension and we were told to wait for the official release of the much-expected circular tor the workers, then we shall pick it up from there. I want to assure you that definitely, there shall be light at the end of the tunnel.”
“On this note, I implore you to please take this message of hope to all our pensioners in your respective states. If we could not get the minimum pension this time, one thing is sure, the corresponding pension increment will not elude us.”
The Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, who was represented Daud Ogundoyin hinted that his government had on September 3 this year approved the sum of N1.4 billion to be paid to Primary schools teachers and local government workers for their gratuities.
Makinde, said, “This NEC meeting calls for every one of us to look at the issues and challenges that are facing pensioners in Nigeria and come out with a distinct solution that will see both the Federal Government and state governments in ensuring the welfare of pensioners.
“On September 3, the governor has approved N1.4 billion to be paid to Primary schools teachers and local government workers for their gratuities.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, was committed more than ever to make life more meaningful for the Nigerian pensioners and all Nigerians.
The Registrar of Trade Union, Mr A. O. Falonipe, said, “let me use this opportunity to remind you of your statutory responsibilities to the Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions n terms of prompt rendition of your audited annual financial accounts.