Create Ministry Of Pension Affairs, Aged, Pensioners Advocate

Marking this year’s National Pensioners’ Day, Pensioners in Nigeria have called for the establishment of a Federal Ministry of Pension Affairs and the aged.
Dr. Andrew Afolayan, the National President of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP speaking in Benin City said the Ministry is necessary as all measures so far taken to address the myriads of problems facing pensioners and the aged in the country by government has failed.
He said that for example the annual pensioners’ verification Exercise has over time adopted methods that have created fake names in many areas into the list from the office of the head of service and sent more pensioners to their graves.
Afolayan also condemned the Contributory pensions scheme as unworkable in that there is difficulty in securing compliance by the private sector and some state governments especially as many of them who embraced it and have so far failed to remit funds to Pension Fund Administrators cannot be sanctioned.
He called for the proper investigation of all cases of alleged pension rackets leading to stealing of billions of Naira of pension funds, a scandal which he said has made Nigeria a laughing stock in the world.
Meanwhile, Edo State Chairman of NUP, Mr. Ikpenwosa Omoragbon, has commended Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who created the annual Pensions day when he was the National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC. In 1999.
He, however, lamented that twelve years later as governor Oshiomhole has ensured the release of inadequate funds for the payment of pensions and gratuities arrears and holds the record for paying pensioners less than N4000 monthly despite increase in workers salaries over the years.
He pleaded for an upward increase in the monthly allocation from the state to senior citizens to prevent them from dying of hunger and starvation, leaving behind their accrued benefits.
He also called on the governor to fulfill the promise he made in December 2013 to commence the payment of the six per cent and the fifteen percent increases due pensioners in the state as contained in a circular.
The 2014 edition is the twelfth edition of the Pensioners’ day, first marked in December 2002, now marked on 11th December each year unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.