The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has vowed not to vote any presidential and gubernatorial candidate not committed to the plights of pensioners.
The NUP President, Mr Godwin Adumisi, said this during a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
The news conference was entitled “Pension Administration and Management in Nigeria: Understanding the Working, Internal Operations of PTAD and the Process on Pension Payment.
Adumisi said that the senior citizens have been disregarded for too long and the time has come for their needs to be prioritized as practiced in other climes.
According to him, pensioners are keenly watching the political terrain and space as well as the ongoing aggressive campaigns by various aspirants.
“The pensioners shall pitch their tent with the presidential and gubernatorial candidates who are committed and more disposed to their plights by massively casting their votes for them to secure their tomorrow.
“We are still watching the candidates and in due time we will inform the press and our members, those we are going to vote for.
“If we perceive that if you come into government you will not pay pensions and gratuity we will openly tell pensioners, and relatives not to vote for that particular candidate, ’’he said.
The NUP President further commended the efforts of the Federal Government, through the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) for its various efforts and operations.
He said that PTAD have paid off by bringing succour and putting smiles on the faces of pensioners due to seamless management of their pensions.
Adumisi however, decried the non-compliance of some state governments in payment of members entitlements and refusal of most to review the amount in line with the latest consequential adjustment of the pensions.
He therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to call on defaulting state governments to order.
The Union leader also called on governors to immediately set up a joint committee with the NUP state councils to address the outstanding entitlements.
“I cannot end this address without mentioning the pathetic plight and unfortunate living condition of our state pensioners who are suffering from non-payment of their legitimate entitlements by their respective state governors.
“Even though many state governors are prompt in paying monthly pensions to our state pensioners, it is on records that majority of the state pensioners have not received a dime of their gratuity since retirement between five to ten years.
“More worrisome, almost all the state governors choose not to review the monthly pension of their retirees as provided in section 173(3) and 210(3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
“Where it says “pensions shall be reviewed after every five years or whenever workers salaries are reviewed,’’he said.
He also noted that over the years, the Federal Government had reviewed the pension of her retiree comprising of 12, 15, 33 per cent and the recent consequential adjustment on pension of 2019 as a result of the new national minimum wage.
He added that these reviews were meant to enhance the monthly earnings of pensioners.
NUP president said unfortunately, many state pensioners’ monthly pension remained stagnant for many years which have continued to impoverish them.
“The law also says that the Federal Government should be responsible for pensions.
“The question is, why is the Federal Government of Nigeria looking the other way when the state governments and their governors are violating the payment of pension?
“We are suffering in the states because the Federal Government allows the state government to do what they like with the payment of pension,’’he added.(NAN