Monday, 21 November 2016

S-South Zonal Conference of NUP ends

The South South Zonal conference of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) has ended in Uyo, the State Capital with a call on governments to see the need of harmonizing pensions of retirees in the States of the South South Zone.

According to Zonal body of the Union during the meeting which took place at the Akwa Ibom State branch Union’s Secretariat, No. 10 Uko Eshiet Lane Uyo, the reason for the harmonization of pension is to alleviate the problems of those whose monthly pension allowances fall within 600 to 1,500 Naira respectively.

Deliberating on the issue, the South South Zonal Secretary, Obong Cosmos M Essien explained that comparing the allowances of retirees of 1980s with that of 2016, that they are earning the same amount, considering that fact that those retiring during recent years earned more, while those who retired during 1980s and 1990s are earning less of about 600 to 1,500 as their monthly allowances.

The Union stressed that their members are currently suffering tremendously from Federal Government in terms of omission of names since 2011.

They equally noted that some of their members are underpaid since 2002, while most of them that retired since 2001 and 2000 have not received gratuity and pension since retirement.

The Union however called on President Muhammadu  Buhari to look into the issue especially now that workers are pushing for salary increase so as to meet with the present economic condition in the country.

On the Issue of verification exercise, the Union stressed that the exercise had been concluded at the North West and South East of the country and therefore, appealed for it to be done in the South South zone in other to take care of the problems of review of pension in accordance with Nigerian Constitution of 1999 as amended.

As part of their Communiqué, the Zonal Body of the Union thanked the Akwa Ibom and Cross River state governments for their ability to pay Civil Pensioners up to date, and appealed to them to consider the plight of Local Government Pensioners and Primary School Teachers retirees who have not been paid for months now.

They adopted the following communiqué including; “that according to the laws, the issue of check-up-dues is the exclusive preserve of a duly registered trade Union such as the Nigeria Union of Pensioners and so, Administrators should stay clear from it; urged Pensions Transitional Administration Department (PTAD) to resume its verification exercise in the South/South Zone without further delay;  called on the Nigeria Labour Congress in many States of the South/South to give the NUP her parental support and protection a little better than it is now doing; and strongly called on the Bayelsa State Government and other pension defaulting states in the Zone to pay pension without further delay.

At the meeting which was attended by State Chairmen, Secretaries and some Chairmen of Local Government Branches of the Union, amongst others, called on Governments in the zone to curb the excesses of associations of Local Government Pensioners who, out of greed, are illegally collecting check-up-dues of pensioners even when courts of competent jurisdictions have ruled to the contrary.

Earlier at the meeting, the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of the Union, Elder Ettetor Uwah while welcoming the zonal forum of the Union, expressed appreciation to the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his ability to pay the monthly allowances of pension in the state as and when due.

The Chairman who was represented by Obong Ekpenyong D Ekpo at the meeting appealed to the Governor to extend same to Local Government Pensioners and retired Primary School Teachers.

Among those who attended the meeting where the Head of Civil Service, Akwa Ibom State who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Bureau of Labour and Productivity; the representative of the NLC and Security Agencies, amongst others.

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