The Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, has raised the alarm over the increasing deaths of members, saying no fewer than 1,500 have died due to economic hardship in the country.
NUP lamented that due to the mass suffering and hardship caused by the economic downturn, pensioners are dying.
President of NUP, Mr Godwin Abumisi who spoke in Abuja, said
“It is not in our power to distribute food items to pensioners in Nigeria, we do not have the resources. In Nigeria, the government does not think about the poor people.
“Otherwise, how can pensioners in Enugu receive as low as N450 as a monthly pension we have been saying this but it seems as if we are crying wolf but it is a reality”, he said.
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The NUP president said that many members across the country were also still earning as low as N500 and N1,000 as monthly pensions, especially in the South-East states.
According to him, the states that pay very low pension also include Borno N4000, Gombe N8,000, Jigawa N12,000, Katsina N7,000, Kogi N5000, Kwara N3000, Niger N4,000, and Taraba N5,000 among others.
Abumisi said “It is important to highlight here that the above pension rates are as low as shown above due to non-harmonisation of pensions which the union has always made a case for.
“This is also due to non-implementation and payment of the previously reviewed N18,000 minimum wage in 2010 and the N30,000 minimum wage in 2019 by many states of the federation.
“Sadly, the non-implementation of these salary reviews in the states has affected the corresponding increases in pensions in the various states under reference.
“The union takes exception to and disagrees with the untenable excuses by the state governments that they cannot afford the implementation and payment of the previous wage reviews.”
The NUP president argued that the increase in federal allocation to states by the present administration was unacceptable and unpardonable.
According to him, in the interest of fairness and justice, NUP would demand not less than N100,000 as the National Minimum Pension to the Tripartite Committee.
Abumis said that anything short of that would incur the wrath of the pensioners who were hard-hit by the prevailing economic hardship occasioned by the ever-rising cost of living.