Pensioners in Akwa Ibom under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) have appealed to the state government to implement pension increment as approved by the Federal Government.
The state chairman of NUP, Obong E. D. Ekpo, made the appeal recently during the South-South/South East meeting held at the state secretariat of the union in Uyo.
Ekpo noted that the appeal became necessary because all the pension reviews and increases approved by the Federal Government from 2003, 2007 to 2010 and all other increases have not been implemented by government of Akwa Ibom State.
He added that “other components of pension entitlements such as harmonization of pensions earnings, implementation of Federal Government percentage increases on pensions are winked at in the state.”
“It will surprise you to know that in our state, there are pensioners earning as low as N600, N800, N1,000 and N1,200 a month in a country where N30,000 is said to be its minimum wage.”
The NUP chairman, who observed that what they take home as pension was insufficient to cater for their needs, disclosed that “our members die in their hundreds for hunger and avoidable sicknesses.”
He decried that the union in the state over the past 20 years has not had the opportunity to meet with the governor one on one to inform him of their problems.
Ekpo, who said, “It has been a case of the union doing all in its power,” expressed the hope that the state government will pay attention to their plea and come to their aid by addressing the plight of the pensioners in the state.
The union commended the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, for what they described as regular, consistent and prompt payment of monthly pensions alongside workers’ monthly salaries.