Nigeria Union of Pensioners crocodile tears

Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo

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lt’s a known fact the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) had been so selfish in catering for just the pensioners on the Old Pension Scheme under the management of PTAD,leaving the Contributory Pensioners in the cold for so long;which warranted the exodus of many federal government agencies ousting out of the new contributory pension scheme,e.g.The Senior Civil Service/Military/Police/Custom,recently NASS Officials etc…

The real issue was the since NUP caters only for her members in PTAD and Contributory Pensioners became an orphan,they’ve resulted to self-help appealing to successive governments on their plights and one of such appeal went out to The Presidency recently;which resulted in the issue of the recent oil subsidy palliative of the Federal Government in sympathy to the many plights of the the contributory pensioners which resulted in the first government release tagged for the Vulnerable Contributory Pensioners,before the NUP usurped on the palliative for pensioners,those they neglected since 1st July,2007.

The sufferings of The Contributory Pensioners were due to the fact that when the scheme was introduced ‘The Federal Government’ then failed to include many benefits enjoyed then/today by “The Old Pensioners Scheme” into “The New Contributory Pensioners Scheme”,while the constitution says that all federal government pensioners must enjoy the same privileges on welfare/salary adjustment,The NUP that represented pensioners in Nigeria didn’t see Contributory Pensioners as their subject matter;thereby failed to carry us along,which have contributed mostly to no solution to many of the oversights/lapses of the federal government at the inception of the new scheme.

We have written to all government agencies concerning Contributory Pensioners Plights,yet no solution in sight despite the fact that,we all served the same government of Nigeria,while old pensioners were enjoying all necessary benefits,the Contributory Pensioners were left in the desert.

The NUP member on board of the old Pencom,was only representing the interest of The Old Pensioners under PTAD,while pretending that “The Contributory Pensioners” don’t exist and memos to Pencom on Contributory Pensioners plights were treated with levity,because the representative of The Nigerian Pensioners (NUP) known to them have nothing to do with most of our complaints;while they weren’t policies enumerated in Pencom Acts/Regulations on those lapses.

We wish to make it known to the public that Pencom were in the pictures of Contributory Pensioners problems,but were only reluctant to act on them,just because the Pencom Acts didn’t empowered them to do so,an example is the issue of progression in the benefits of pensioners every five years as stated in the constitution [Section173 (3)] which has not been implemented since 1st July,2007;while The Old Scheme Pensioners with PTAD have been enjoying same benefit for almost [8times] till date.

Another issue is that of The Contributory Pensioners that migrated to Annuity in Insurance Company;when they were treated like an outcast,and the late announcement on the policy direction by Pencom,which created fears in the minds of the contributory pensioners,therefore had to look for cover under annuity in the insurance companies.

We shall be very grateful,if the government could seriously consider the issues raised on the plights of “The Contributory Pensioners” and make it mandatory for Pencom and all other necessary agencies of the federal government,that the affairs of The Contributory Pensioners shall be their responsibility and not that of Pencom only.

Now that the issue of Palliative to Vulnerable Contributory Pensioners have suddenly woke up NUP from slumbers and started the cross country from NLC/TUC/HEAD OF SERVICE on why they should benefit along with pensioners under Pencom,that was not know to them since 1st July,2007,we shall not say they shouldn’t be recognised as they [NUP] did to The Contributory Pensioner,we hope that the government shall not be deceived with the current activities of NUP that they’re true representatives of all pensioners in Nigeria,it’s was the the palliative that was at work,we do not trust them and might not wish to play with fire once again.

Now that we have a listening and reasoning government all contributory pensioners should appreciate them;while l appeal further that there were several anomalies in The New Pension Scheme of Contributory Pensioners that could not be left with Pencom without the necessary acts of NASS to make it workable in the interest of the vulnerable contributory pensioners;while the helping hands of the NUP;despite their selfishness and other government agencies could should not be overlooked in achieving the objective.

l hope that NUP must have learnt the lesson that unbrotherliness,selfishness and oppression are not the best approach to issues like that of The New Contributory Pension Scheme that has advantage just on regular payment of monthly allowance;but with several disadvantages to the Old Pension Scheme;because even the would one day become a free citizens as been demonstrated with the current oil subsidy palliative to contributory pensioners by the federal government.

Gbadebo OLATOKUNBO writes from Ikorodu,Lagos State.
Shareholder Activist & Cofounder,Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA),1985,

Residence Address,
Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo,
[Former Chairman,Konu-CDA & Baba-NTA @ Konu],
7,Debo Atunwa Street,
Lagos State.
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