The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of pensioners across the country.
Mustapha said that in spite of the challenges being experienced in pension administration in the country, the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to improving pensioners welfare.
“Government is unwavering in re-positioning pension administration in order to give pensioners good and quality life.
“Government is aware of the problems of pensioners, especially those that border on prompt payment of pension and are doing everything possible to correct the anomalies’,’’ he said.
Mustapher, represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Service, Mr Roy Ugo, commended the Pension Transitional Administration Directorate (PTAD) for working hard to reposition pension administration.
In his welcome address, the National President, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Mr Abel Afolayan, lamented that arrears of increment in 2010 were yet to be fully paid.
“We are not unaware of the economic situation which government is facing, but it is not easy to convince our members that government is not ignoring their sufferings in terms of arrears of gratuity and pension,’’ he said.
He said it was a painful experience with state governments owning backlogs of pension arrears.
Afolayan escribed the situation as pathetic, adding that most states only manage to pay certain percentage to their pensioners.
“I want to make a clarion call on the President to prevail on state governments to show more concern for their pensioners.’’ he said.
He commended PTAD for paying six months arrears to civilian pensioners, saying that an outstanding of 18 months was still pending for police pensioners, having paid 12 months.
He also appealed to PTAD to pay the arrears of 33 per cent pension and gratuity expeditiously.
Afolayan frowned at the gang up of some members who wrote baseless and unsubstantiated petitions to the Minister of Labour and Employment against the union.
He, however, appealed to the minister to listen to the order side for the sake of justice and fair hearing.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to declare pensioner’s day celebrated every Dec. 11, by Nigeria pensioners as a National Day.
The Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mrs Aisha Dahir- Umar, said that the commission would continue to ensure that all workers got their retirement benefits promptly.