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Chuks Udo Okonta
Many workers who retired in old pension scheme – Defined Benefit, earn as low as N2,500 monthly pension, Inspen can report.
In spite, the poor earnings, the the pensioners have to undergo rigorous biometric verifications before accessing the token.
The Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Mrs Folashade Onanuga, who expressed worry over the plights of these retirees, urged the government to institute welfare scheme to complement the pension benefits of retirees.
She noted that often times, the amount spent by retirees to participant in biometric verifications exceed what they earn as pension.
Lagos State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Comrade Joseph Dele, who confirmed that some retirees earn the said amount, noted that retirees in the country are subjected to multifarious and multidimensional challenges.
“It is established face that Nigerian pensioners are faced with multifarious and multidimensional problems such as : Inconsistency in policy formulation on the part of government; lack of enlightenments by government organs statutorily empowered to cater for pensioners; inadequate or non- availability of funds by government for the settlement of backlog of retirees benefit and pension allowance under the defined benefit scheme; lack of pre-retirement lecture and enlightenments for would be retirees and non harmonisation of old and new pension rates to close the existing gap between officers of the same rank who retire at different times but of the same statutory retirement age and statutory number of service years,”he said.
He maintained that through the doggedness of the union’s national chairman, Dr Abel Afolayan and General Secretary, Actor Zal, most of the challenges have been tackled, stressing that their efforts have paved way for the payment of two out of the three years pension arrears.