15 February 2013

Nigeria: 'Pensioners Still Earn N3,000 Per Month'

Despite the huge amount of pension fund being diverted, some pensioners have revealed that they still earn as little as N3,000 per month.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the pensioners who lamented their pitiable plight said there had not been an upward review of pension for the past 13 years, contrary to the provision of the constitution which states that once there is an upward review of workers' salaries, there should also be a review of pension.

The national president of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Comrade Ali Abatcha said pensioners in the country are dying, while corrupt individuals continue to divert funds belonging to pensioners.

He said, "Our protest on the 25th February if nothing changes is still on. In Nigeria the constitution has different meaning to different people. It is the same constitution that says whenever there is an increment in the working class, that same increment goes to the pensioners.

"Since the past two years, civil servants have been enjoying increment, while pensioners have been neglected. Pensioners in Nigeria are dying. As I am talking to you, there are some pensioners in Nigeria that are earning less than N3, 000 per month. What is N3, 000 to a Nigerian citizen especially those who are living in major cities where you cannot rent for N5,000 per month.

On why the pensioners have not embarked on their proposed protest, he said, "We are senior citizens. We must give room. We cannot behave like small boys who can just embark on street protest at the slightest opportunity. So we read situation, if we see your sincerity, we give you time so that you finish what you are doing".

Also speaking, the national vice president in charge of north-east zone (NUP), Paul Tsve lamented the irregularities in the pension payment. He said, "You find a pensioner, he is paid this month and after two months, the same pensioner is not paid and the third month he is back on the payroll and the two months are gone.

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