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Nigeria Union of Pensioners seek special bailout fund for pension arrears

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on
the Federal Government to provide a special bailout
funds to settle outstanding benefits of pensioners in
the country.
The President of the union, Dr Abel Afolayan, made
the call in an interview in Abuja on Monday.
It would be recalled that recently, pensioners in some
states embarked on series of protests against
nonpayment of their pensions and other entitlements.
Afolayan said that the provision of a bailout fund was
crucial, given the plight of pensioners in the country.
He said some state governments had reneged on
payment of monthly pensions and benefits of
pensioners in their states.
According to him, several months of pension arrears
are being owed pensioners, while the gratuities and
death benefits have yet to be settled.
“We are advocating for a special bailout fund from
the Federal Government for pensioners in the states;
it will be used to clear all the backlog of pension
arrears in the country.”
He said that the union had commenced the process
of requesting for the bailout.
This, he said, was to support the states finding it
difficult to pay pensions and the accumulated
arrears.
“We on our part, we have made many statements in
the last three or four weeks, even when the Federal
Government did the bailout of salaries for the states.
“We have written a letter that the bailout should
include pensioners and we are agitating for it.
“We will be meeting Head of Service; we have written
letters concerning the issue of bailout and on the
need for the Federal Government to give a special
bailout to pensioners.”
The NUP president said about N218 billion was
required to settle the balance of 33 per cent increase
in pension and other entitlements.
He said that the proposed fund would cover the 42
months arrears arising from the pension increase as
well as the unpaid gratuities and death benefits.
“We made an estimate of about 218 billion which
Pension Transition Arrangement Department (PITAD)
needed to pay the balance of 33 per cent pension
increase.
“That is for about 42 months and then for the arrears
of pensions, gratuity and death benefits.”
Afolayan said that NUP would not relent in its quest
to ensure that the rights and entitlements of
pensioners were met by the government.
“We are fighting hard together with all the pensioners
nationwide; the Presidency is going to have an
audience with us next week.
“If all these efforts fail, we are going to have a
nationwide protest and it is going to be massive and
we will intimate the law enforcement agents about it.
“They can get to the presidency ahead of time so
that the government will know about the implication
of a massive protest from pensioners.” (NAN)

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