Pensioners demand inclusion of arrears in 2015 budget

RETIREES under the aegis of Pensioners Union of Nigeria (NUP) have demanded immediate inclusion of payment of their 33% increment in the 2015 appropriation Act.

In a letter written to the office of Head of Service, Danladi Kifasi, the General Secretary of NUP, Actor Zal, said the union is disappointed that no fund was allocated in the budget for the payment of the balance of the 33% arrears against the promises made to them by the Federal Government through the immediate former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim and immediate former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The union requested a meeting with Kifasi on July 28 to seek ways of ensuring the payment of the outstanding 33% arrears saying the exclusion of the arrears is already generating agitation among the members of the union.

In a related development, the union has also written a letter to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance over what it termed non-inclusion of payment of pensions in the bailout package for workers in the states.

The letter read in part: “With due sense of respect and humility, we write to express our dismay and total disappointment with the federal government over the release of N713bn as bailout package to State Governments for the payment of workers’ salaries without a corresponding provision for the pensioners who are being owed backlog of arrears of pensions of different categories, most especially the 42 months arrears of the 33% pension increase.”

The union also drew the attention of the Permanent Secretary to the exclusion of the 33% arrears from the 2015 Appropriation Act.

“It is in view of the above that we humbly request for your intervention by taking up our case with the Federal Government to extend the bailout gesture to the pensioners, since payment of salaries and pensions always go pari-pasu. The pensioners are indeed angry and are spoiling for a showdown with the Federal Government. A stitch in time saves nine.As the supervising officer of the Ministry, we shall deeply appreciate your positive and urgent intervention towards ameliorating the deplorable living conditions of the pensioners,” it stated.

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