By Auwalu Birninkudu
Bauchi, Jan. 8, 2021 The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Bauchi State chapter, has appealed to the state government to settle the backlog of eleven months’ pension arrears owed some of its members.
Naija247news reports that the pensioners were affected by the ongoing cleansing of the state pay and nominal rolls of pensioners and civil servants.
Malam Aliyu Dogoro, the Chairman of the union, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Friday.
He said the inability of government to settle the entitlements of the affected pensioners had further exposed them to untold hardship.
Dogoro said some of them were at present suffering from age related diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, among others.
He added that some of the pensioners were currently experiencing indiscriminate underpayment which covered between six and eight months.
The chairman promised to continue to push for the welfare his members.
He advised the state government to revert to the table payment method of settling pensioners’ entitlements, with a view to solving the problems in payment of their pensions and gratuities.
Dogoro said that this would enable government to have a clear assessment of the entire process for efficiency and transparency.
He called for the review of the existing state pension law to reflect and accommodate the N30,000 minimum wage, in accordance with the existing national law on pension.
“Sections 173 and 210 of the nation’s constitution have been very explicit and clear on the laws regarding pension” he said.
He explained that the extant pension law stipulated that pension ought to be reviewed at the interval of five years.
The chairman said that the state pension was last reviewed in 2013 and ought to have been reviewed in 2018.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Mukhtar Gidado, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to Gov. Bala Mohammed, has said that government is doing everything possible to begin the settlement of pensioners’ entitlements.
He said the present administration had prioritised the welfare of retired civil servants as well as the serving ones, through training and retraining.
Gidado explained that the state government would conduct promotion examination for no fewer than 1,800 civil servants next week.
He said that only civil servants who were qualified were shortlisted for the examination.
Naija247news reports that the state government has set aside N27 billion in the 2021 budget for the settlement of outstanding gratuities of retired civil servants.