Unpaid pension arrears: NLC mobilises workers for one-day strike

BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG & JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU

ABUJA—AHEAD of Wednesday April 10, nationwide planned protest in solidarity with pensioners over unpaid benefits and plight, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday, directed workers in Lagos and Abuja, to observe a work-free-day to enable them participate fully in the protest.

Already, umbrella body for pro-labour civil society organisations, Joint Action Front, JAF, as well as Campaign for Workers Democratic Rights, CWDR, have given support to the planned protest and directed members nationwide to fully participate.

Briefing newsmen, Acting President of NLC, Promise Adewusi, said the NLC had directed its leaders in the two cities to ensure full compliance, saying it was disturbed over the non-payment of pension to retirees.

The NLC directed that rallies be held in Lagos and Abuja simultaneously as part of the solidarity protest on the said date to draw attention of the nation and the world to the untold hardship the pensioners were passing through.

According to Adewusi, the “workers are protesting the non-payment of outstanding arrears to scores of pensioners, non-enrolment of thousands of pensioners on the pension payroll and non-payment of death benefits to the deserving next of kin. Others are the non-implementation of payments to pensioners to reflect the 53.4 per cent salary review and payment of pension in line with relevant increases in the minimum wage to N18,000 withholding of Nigeria Union of Pensioner, NUP, statutory check-off dues for over a year and the slow pace at which pension payment is being processed  by the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.”

NLC demanded “immediate restoration of the withheld check-up dues to NUP, accelerated payment of arrears of pensions to deserving pensioners, re-visitation of the inconclusive verification exercises of 2010/2011 by the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, payment to pensioners of appropriate pension to reflect the 53.4 percent salary increase and payment of the N18,000 minimum wage in line with provisions of Section 173 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, and the full implementation of the report of the Senate Joint Report on the pension scam.”

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