Retirees under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) across the South-west have said that state governors in the region are owing them N242b in gratuities and pensions
The Zonal Public Relations Officer of NUP, Olusegun Abatan, disclosed this during their zonal council meeting held in Akure, the Ondo State.
According to Abatan, the governors in the region are not living to the expectations of the pensioners.
He said that despite allowing pensioners in their states to live in penury, some of the governors went ahead to obtain nomination forms for elections running into millions of naira.
The pensioners also decried the manner in which the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had been handling their matter over the years.
They maintained that the two unions should as a matter of urgency take their matter with all seriousness as they also become pensioners in the future.
Abatan said: “The condition of pensioners in southwest still remains the same with unpaid gratuities. Many of these states in the southwest are owing pensioners since 2012 and 2013. Pensioners are being owed between N68 billion and N78 billion.
“Ogun State is owing N68 billion, Ondo State N78 billion, Ekiti State N38 billion and Osun N58 billion. 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 the fore the core labour centers 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 the 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 on 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.”
“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 will not allow workers to be sacked anyhow.
“With regards to our unpaid entitlements, the NUP, southwest 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 the 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 the nomination form.”