December 11, every year is set aside by Federal Government of Nigeria to celebrate the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), the senior citizens who have served the nation meritoriously.
The venue used for the celebration of this year’s NUP Day was Adam Oshiomhole Hall, Labour House, Asaba
The Chairman and Secretaries of the 25 Local Government Area chapters of NUP gathered at the Labour House for the celebration.
The national president of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Dr. Abel Afolayan in his message read on his behalf by the Trustee 1 of the Union, Dame Theresa Loromeke, told the state government to fully implement the Federal Government approved pension increment for Pensioners since July 2010.
Dr. Afolayan who made the call in Asaba, Delta State said some state government still remain adamant and insensitive despite the constitutional provisions in section 173 (3) and 210 (3) of the Federal Constitution as amended, adding “many state governments feel careless, reluctant and unwilling to comply with the provisions as if they are neither concerned nor affected.
States are yet to obey the constitution they swore to obey, bearing in mind that these aged senior citizens had used their productive years to create wealth being enjoyed today.”
Speaking earlier, the State Chairman, of Delta State Chapter, Chief Hon. Silver Michael, Savbede, JP thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for paying the state Pensioners regularly as at when due.
He however said the 33 per cent pension increase awarded to NUP in July 2010 was implemented segmentally with outstanding arrears of 99 months yet to be paid.
Most of the pensioners have died without getting the payment due to refusal of the state government to pay it fully, adding that the said 33 per cent pension increase was not implemented across board like other States as approved by the federal government, rather the implementation was segmented such that those who retired before the 2000 had the 33 per cent while those who retired after 2000 were paid 20 per cent or 15 per cent to those on salary grade level 01-06 and those on salary grade level 07-16 respectively.
In his goodwill message, the former state Chairman and former member of National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), His Honour Dr. BN Anwasia gave the history of how the National Pensioners Day came to be when Hogan Mumafor and Israel Omotosho was National General Secretary of the Union respectively.
He appealed to Delta State government to pay the 33 per cent Federal Government Pension increase of July 2010 and to abide by the provisions of section 173 (3) and 210 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which stipulates that Pensioners salary be increased every five years or when workers’ salaries are reviewed upwards whichever came first.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the occasion who also is the State Chairman f Nigeria Labour Congress NLC Comr. Goodluck Ofobruku assured the senior citizens that the issues relation to by the full implementation of the 33 per cent is being look into by the state government.