The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has tabled a demanded for the approval of N25,000 as new minimum pension.

The union expressed displeasure that many pensioners were still paid less than N5,000 monthly, even with the high rate of inflation and recession.

Its President, Comrade Abel Afolayan, while addressing the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union in Abuja, said many state pensioners were being owed over 12 months arrears of pension.

He, however, praised the governors of Lagos, Jigawa, Anambra, Enugu and Yobe states for not owing  pensioners. He urged defaulting governors and states to make amend.

“We want you to make amend so that old men will not be forced to pronounce curses on you with their grey hair,” he said.

While the NUP is demanding N25,000 as the new national minimum pension per month, the union also canvassed immediate payment of the 18 months arrears of the 33 per cent pension to civil pensioners and 39 months areas owed police pensioners.

On their new demand, Afolayan declared that it was criminal for a pensioner to collect less than N5,000 monthly in this time of serious economic recession.

He said the union entered into a long negotiation with the Federal Government for the upward review of pension, which finally yielded result when former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) directed the salaries, incomes and wages commission to issue a circular for 33 per cent pension increase effective from July 1, 2010.

“Since then, civilian pensioners throughout the country were paid 24 months, out of the 42 months arrears, remaining a balance of 18 months  of which we have a very good assurance that government will pay the balance soonest,’’ he said.

The NUP chief added that the union is still struggling to ensure that police, NIPOST, electricity, railways, universities pensioners and others who are yet to get full benefit from the government are paid fully. He assured pensioners across the country that the union would not rest until all of them who are owed get their pensions.

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