Makinde, Fayemi, Akeredolu, Abiodun, Oyetola are owing us N242billion —Pensioners
By: Oluwatosin Adesola
….Southwest NUP wants NLC, TUC to declare industrial disputes
Pensioners across the southwest goepolitical zone have lamented that five out of six State governments in the zone are owing them over two hundred and forty two billion naira (N242b) in gratuities and pensions.
The retirees under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) who gathered in Akure, the Ondo State capital, berated the state governors, except Lagos state Governor, for abandoning them to suffer on daily basis as a result of unpaid entitlements.
The governors of southwest states are; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Seyi Makinde of Oyo.
Speaking on behalf of the senior spoke through the NUP Southwest Zonal Public Relations Officer and Oyo Stare Secretary of the Union, Comrade Olusegun Abatan, said despite allowing pensioners in their states to live in penury, some of the governors went ahead to obtain party nomination forms running to millions of naira.
The pensioners also frowned at the manner at which the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had left the retirees to wallow in poverty after serving the nation diligently, advising the two labour unions to declare industrial disputes in states where pensioners were being owed.
They maintained that the two unions should as a matter of urgency take their matter with all seriously as they also become pensioners in future.
Abatan said “The condition of pensioners in south west still remains the same with unpaid gratuities. Many of these states in the south west are owing pensioners since 2012 and 2013. Pensioners are being owed between N68 to N78 billion.
“Ogun State is owing N68 billion, Ondo State is N78 billion, Ekiti State is N38 billion and Osun is N58 billion, Oyo is owing too. Lagos is almost free of indebtedness because it has entered into the Contributory Pension Scheme.
“We discovered that to liquidate for example N68 billion, it will take that government 34 years. And this brings to fore the core labour centres in this country, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) to please have a common understanding with Nigeria Union of Pension.
“What we are saying is that NLC and TUC should take the matters of pensioners as a matter of urgency and if possible, they should declare trade dispute with state governments that are owing pensioners huge amount of money.
“NLC and TUC have not been taking along during negotiations the matter of pensioners. So we are urging them to do that now. By doing that, they are laying the bed they are going to sleep because they will become pensioners tomorrow. It is in their own interest to take the matter of pensioners seriously.”
The zonal secretary added that “We are not happy that politicians, particularly politicians of now are not interested in the welfare of pensioners as well as the entire citizenry. And what has really miffed us is that when they were voted into power, they will start policies that are injurious to the service.
“In most cases you find Governors or even Commissioners sacking workers that have been at work for the past 20 to 25 years. There should be a kind of structure that would that will not allow workers to be sacked anyhow.
“With regards to our unpaid entitlements, the NUP, south west zone in cahoot with the national headquarters of our union will soon bring out a line of activities that will tell the world that pensioners are no longer to tolerate the attitude of our governors and politicians.
“All efforts are now being geared towards 2023 election. The security of everybody is no longer on the plates of our politicians and political parties. And what is interesting is that governors that are owing pensioners seven years of unpaid gratuities and pensions were the first to pay N100 million for nomination form.
“You can imagine if this type of governors becomes the Presdent of Federal Republic of Nigeria, what will happen to pensioners?”