24 January 2013

Nigeria: LTV Pensioners Want Subvention Restored to Station

The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Lagos Television chapter, has appealed to the state government to restore the monthly N17 million subvention to the station stopped two years ago.

Mr James Ogunbanjo, Chairman of the union made the appeal at a news conference on Thursday in Ikeja.

Ogunbanjo said the stoppage of the subvention had affected the smooth operations of the state-owned media organisation, pointing out that the station had since found it very difficult to effectively discharge its responsibilities.

"The situation has particularly affected the payment of salaries of pensions as and when due, and has put the competitiveness and survival of the organisation in jeopardy.

"The wage bill of LTV has now hit N26 million owing to the implementation of the new national minimum wage. This is big burden compared to the between 12 to 13 million naira it was paying as salaries when there was subvention.

"How then does the station meet its obligations to its workers as pensioners when the same government that has asked it to be financially autonomous does not pay for the services rendered to it by the station?

"The government continues to approve recruitment into the station, yet it is not paying subvention to cater for the extra burden. We do not want LTV to die, what is happening now is not good for its survival, " he said.

The chairman noted that workers and pensioners were feeling the pains of the stoppage, saying most of them found it hard to live.

Ogunbanjo said that LTV should be empowered to perform the statutory function of government's mouthpiece, adding that asking it to compete with over 18 private stations for revenue was an aberration.

He advised the state government to borrow a leaf from the Federal Government, which according to him has properly funded and successfully used the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to project its activities.

Ogunbanjo also urged the state government to implement, as a matter of urgency, the 142 per cent increase in pension approved by the Federal Government 10 years ago.

He explained that since the approval, the federal government, as well as all the state governments, apart from Lagos and Osun, had implemented it.

"This is a bit surprising. Lagos is known to be the centre of excellence and it is expected that it would have done this long before other states.

"Though we heard that provisions have been made for it in the 2013 budget, we are only appealing to Gov. Babatunde Fashola to ensure that the increase is implemented with the arrears.

"We are pensioners. We served the state well in our active years .We only hope the state government will do the necessary thing and pay us what is due to us promptly, " Ogunbanjo said.

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