6 February 2013

Nigeria: Planned Nationwide Mass Protest Will Hold - Pensioners

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) yesterday said the planned nationwide protest against government neglect of its members would commence on February 25, 2013 as a meeting at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu with other stakeholders ended in deadlock.

National President of NUP, Comrade Ali Abatcha, who made this known to journalists in Abuja said the federal government, in its effort to avert the planned action by the union, summoned a meeting with the representatives of the Head of Service of the Federation, Ministry of Justice and others, adding that the meeting did not yield any result.

He said the union was seeking the release of the one per cent check off dues which the members voluntarily contributed and was seized by the pension reform task team.

He said, "Our meeting with the representatives of the Head of Service of the Federation, Ministry of Labour, and Ministry of Justice ended in deadlock because none of the demands was met.

"We are demanding for the release of the one (1) per cent check off dues like other unions in the country, the 53 per cent increment which Civil Servants have been enjoying for the past three years, and the harmonisation of pensioners, none of these was solved and the meeting was adjourned to Wednesday February 13, 2013. Meanwhile, our planned nationwide protest billed for the 25th of this month will still hold."

He said further, "the Minister told us to come back by February 13, 2013 so that Salaries and Wages Commission can explain why the circular is yet to be released. For the check off dues, the Ministry of Justice said we don't have the right to levy our members, but we told them it was not levy but a voluntarily contribution and is constitutional.

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