Pensioners’ Struggle: They Want Living Wages, and Some of Them Still Make N1500 Per Month

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Pensioners in Nigeria are demanding wage parity through the South-South zonal forum of the country’s pensioners’ union.

Our correspondent in Uyo was able to obtain a statement from the forum’s chairman, William Seleipere, and secretary, Obong Cosmas Essien, which expressed regret that some members continue to receive pensions ranging from N1500 to N3000 per month, despite the high cost of living in the country.

Members were urged to exert pressure on their respective state governments to make sure they comply with the demands, as the forum noted that the majority of state governments have failed to do so throughout the years.

The dismal conditions of the seniors have prompted them to call on the Committee on Living Wages to consider them for living pensions.

Some pensioners are still receiving N1,500, N2,000, or N3,000, which the South-South Council found “dismaying.” The statement urged all state governments to “harmonize the increase on the low-income earning pensioners.”

Having said that, the Zonal Council would like to thank the governor of Akwa lbom State for disbursing N14 billion naira during his nine months in office to pay the gratuity to retired primary school teachers, civil pensioners, and local government pensioners.

Despite their opposition to merging the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) with the Federal Ministry of Finance, they urged the Akwa Ibom State Government to set up a Pension Commission, Boards, or Bureau to deal with the complex issues faced by pensioners in the state. They emphasized the immense good that PTAD had done for pensioners.

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When it came to palliative care, the gathering commended the governors of the states that had already taken action and urged all of them to include pensioners to their plans.

Additionally, they commended the governments of Edo and Bayelsa for implementing the health insurance scheme and offered advice to those states that have not yet done so.

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment’s Mr. Amuboh Orhoghene, who is the Akwa Ibom State Controller, expressed his goodwill at the opening ceremony by promising that, in conjunction with the Union and other important stakeholders, his ministry will keep pushing for the review of all applicable labor laws in order to improve the lives of Nigerian workers and pensioners.

“May I also kindly suggest that the foundation for a harmonious relationship between the union and its social partners is the tripartite mantra of mutual respect and consultation,” he additionally stated.

The fact that people’s abilities to work and earn a living decline with age is well-known, but Mrs. Ekereobong Umoh, chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service Commission, emphasized the need of saving for retirement in advance so that one can rely on pensions.

She pleaded with the Union to use the meeting as a platform to reassure pensioners that their payments will safeguard their financial security and that of their families in the case of their untimely demise.

They should be motivated to participate in a savings plan as a long-term investment.

In his message of goodwill, state NLC Chairman Sunny James promised the retirees that the organized labor would remain by their side to guarantee that they would get all of their benefits, including living pensions, after all the years of serving their country.

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