Comrade Umar Mairiga, Secretary, Adamawa chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), on Tuesday in Yola said that some pensioners still collect N2,000 monthly as pension in the North-East state.
Mairiga said that “Adamawa is the state where you find the least paid pensioners in the country; we still have pensioners that collect N2000, N3000 and N4000 as pension”.
He said that the development was as a result of lack of compliance with the pension law that said government should increase pension by five per cent every five years and whenever there was an increase in workers’ salaries.
“There was salary increase in 2003 but we did not benefit; there was another in 2005, but we were not captured. We also lost out in the minimum wage increase of 2010.
“Some of our members, out of frustration, vowed not to show up for the ongoing verification exercise, saying they would rather forfeit their N2000 or N3000 monthly pension”, Mairiga said.
He urged the new APC-led administration of Governor Muhammadu Jibrilla to make a difference by looking into the plight of pensioners in the state as they had been neglected for years by past administrations.
Mairiga said that retirees in the state were being owed about N8 billion accumulated pension and gratuity arrears, and urged the government take steps, such as allocating between N200 million to N500 million monthly for the clearing of such arrears.
“We won’t mind even if it is N10 million monthly that is dedicated to the settlement of the arrears, particularly those of junior civil servants whose gratuity is between N400,000 and N800,000.
“Those category of retirees have no houses of their own; they need the money to erect a mud huts in their villages and wait for the end.
“It is not proper to deny retirees their right when it matters most; every able worker today is a potential retiree, hence the need for all stakeholders to start taking pension matters more seriously”, Mairiga said.