By Festus Ahon – Asaba
National President of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Dr. Abel Afolayan, weekend, told State governments to fully implement the Federal Government approved pension increment for pensioners.
Afolayan, who made the call in Asaba, said State Governments still remain nonchalant and insensitive despite the constitutional provisions in section 210 (3), adding that; “many state governments feel reluctant and unwilling to comply with the provisions as if they are neither concerned nor affected.
He called on “States yet to comply to obey the Constitution they swore to, bearing in mind that these aged men and women had used their productive years to create wealth being enjoyed today”
Speaking earlier, the State chapter chairman, Chief S. M. Saubede, thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for paying the state pensioners regularly. He however said the 33% pension increase awarded in July 2010 was implemented in October 2018 with outstanding arrears of 99 months yet to be paid.
Saubede however said: “The said 33% pension increase was not implemented across the board like other states in the federation rather the implementation was segmented such that those who retired before the year 2000 had the 33% while those who retired after 2000 were paid 20%/or 15% to those on salary grade level 01-06 and those on salary grade level 07-16 respectively.”
He appealed to the State government to have a change of heart by implementing the 33% pension increase across the board without segmentation and also pay the outstanding 99 months.
Hear him: “We wish to plead with the Delta state government to please carry out harmonization of pensioners and pay both with defined benefits and a contributory pension scheme to obviate a situation where some pensioners are paid N2, 000 at the end of the month”.
Also, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC in the State, Comrade Goodluck Ofubruku, disclosed that the leadership of the pensioners in collaboration with NLC was working hard towards the full implementation of the increment in the State.
He said: “I know that you are not happy, your leaders met with us and we are already taking up the matter with the government”, disclosing that “one of the reasons it has not been fully implemented is that the fund coming to the local government is not enough to implement it for all categories of workers but it will be done in January next year. The issue of pensioners welfare in Delta State will not be taken lightly”.