Pensioners Plead With Fashola Over Arrears Of 142% Increment | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pensioners Plead With Fashola Over Arrears Of 142% Increment

Posted: May 22, 2015 at 1:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase  –  Lagos


Pensioners in Lagos have appealed to the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to pay them the three year arrears of 142 per cent pension increment approved by the Federal Government in 2000.

Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Alhaji Najeemdeen Ibrahim, made the appeal in Lagos.

He also wants the current state government to implement further increases of 6 per cent and 15 per cent as directed by the Federal Government in 2003 and 2007 respectively. Ibrahim, who addressed journalists on the struggle for the actualisation of their demand, stated that when the 142 per cent increment was announced by the then Olusegun Obasanjo regime in year 2000, Lagos State did not implement it, prompting the pensioners to head for court.

He added that the judge decided the case in their favour by ordering the state government not only to implement the increment but to also pay all the arrears to the pensioners.

“Out of the six years arrears, the state government paid only three years, leaving a balance of three years. That was for the 142 per cent.

“The state has not even implemented the 6 per cent and 15 per cent. So we are calling on the Babatunde Fashola administration to ensure the payment of these arrears and implementation of the 6 percent and 15 per cent increment before leaving office,” Ibrahim said.

According to him, the union has written several letters to the state government on the payment of the three years arrears but government has not been forthcoming.

When the government was not responding to the letters, the union members embarked on protest to the state Governor’s Office.

During one of the protests, Ibrahim said, Fashola attended to them, assuring that his administration will pay the arrears before his tenure ends.

“Indeed, a circular was released in November last year that the government will pay the three years arrears in installment.

“They promised to pay the first 18 months, then spread the remaining 18 months over six months of three month arrears each together with the implementation of the 6 per cent and 15 per cent increment,” the NUP boss, who also doubles as the Southwest chairman of the union, explained.

According to him, the government fulfilled its promise but it was sectional.

“They only paid the Alausa pensioners leaving out local government, state parastatals and primary school teaching and non-teaching pensioners,” he added. He stated that when they raised eyebrow on the discriminatory payment, the government said it was the mainstream category they paid first.

“We don’t know when that started. All along there has not been any discrimination in pensioners’ issue. Honestly, I’m surprised that the Lagos State Government is treating us this way, it is very unfair,” he said.