The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has applauded the Rivers State Government’s decision to abrogate the contributory pension scheme law in the state, saying it would alleviate the suffering of pensioners.
The union is also appealing to the state government to resume the payment of gratuities of pensioners which was stopped from April 2016 as well as work out and pay the gratuities and benefits of pensioners under the contributory pension scheme from July 2015.
According to a communiqué issued at the end of its South-South Zonal meeting held in Port Harcourt yesterday, the union urged the State Government to pay the accrued initial pension arrears of those payrolled in 2017 while urging the payment of pension increases of 6, 15 and 33 percent respectively as approved by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Abuja in 2017.
The communiqué signed by the Zonal Chairman, Comrade Pullen Noruwa, Zonal Vice President, Comrade Benjamin Ettah, the State Chairman, Comrade Collins Nwankwo, State Secretary; Comrade Joseph J. Agbo and the Zonal Secretary, Obong Cosmos Essien urged the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to with immediate effect pay the balance of twelve months arrears of the 33 percent increase.
While urging the implementation of the circular Number PNA.32760/S.19/T1/31 of February 2003 transferring the responsibilities of payment of monthly pension of primary school retirees to their respective state governments, the Zonal Conference also urged the Rivers State government to harmonise pension as had been done by the Cross River government in 2014 just as it called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Rivers State Council to do the needful by ensuring that the governor used the Paris Club refund for the settlement of all outstanding pension liabilities as was done in other states of the federation.
By: Shedie Okpara.