Urges Buhari On Immediate implementation Of Minimum Pension
By Obioma C. Appolos
The Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners’ Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN) has urged President Mohammadu Buhari-led government to complement the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage and the consequential adjustment thereof, with immediate implementation of minimum pension for pensioners across the country in-line with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended.
Said to be the most vibrant pensioners’ association regrouped from the old Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) to cater for parastatals and private sector pensioners, FEPPPAN, also stated clearly that it has no doubt President Buhari would give immediate attention to the demand of pensioners in regards to minimum pension implementation.
“We pensioners believe so much in President Buhari’s government when it comes to our welfare and what is due to us. So far, he has left no one in doubt by the prompt payment of monthly pensions.
“Section 173 of the constitution clearly states that once you increase salary for workers by a particular percentage, automatically you will also increase pensions by same percentage. Thanks to God the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has always said that he will go by the law. So we in FEPPPAN strongly believe that government will simultaneously implement minimum pension. Therefore, we will continue to encourage government to do so without further delay.
“And like I said earlier, President Buhari’s government has left none of us in doubt that he will implement the law especially regarding the implementation of minimum pension.”
Speaking to journalists in Abuja through its President-General, Chief Temple Ubani, FEPPPAN, commended the Minister of Labour and Employment and his team for their negotiating skill and efforts which saw government and labour reach agreement on the consequential adjustment of the N30, 000 new minimum wage.
Believed that Nigeria would have been plunged into industrial anarchy if prompt action was not taken to avert the imminent strike, the Association said; “The labour was prepared to completely shut down the economy of the country. And it is also possible that most Nigerians would have supported the strike. I see the resolution as a divine intervention and a win-win situation for not only workers but Nigeria citizens at large.
“Industrial crisis is as old as trade unionism particularly in our own clime. However, the many industrial crisis that have been averted, and settlement of issues inter and intra Union crisis have shown that the current team of the Ministry of Labour and Employment led by Sen. Chris Ngige, are very capable and have what it takes to nip in the bud any serious industrial crisis or threat to industrial peace as the case may be.
“From the stand point of a labour leader, I must tell you that the Minister’s position and pronouncements as to what government could do and could not do was very instrumental to the success achieved. Because in the past, what we saw was that ministers will just go into negotiation with labour, agree and sign agreements which they would eventually renege in implementing.
“But this time around, Senator Chris Ngige, was able to always tell the labour what government position was. He was able to tell labour to allow government pay what it can pay. And that set the tone for labour coming down from their demand and there was Agreement. So we cannot stop commending the Honourable Minister and the entire ministry for standing their ground and making sure that industrial peace reigns in the country.
“However, we also plead with government to always present issues as they are to the labour, because when government is not forthcoming with information, it only puts doubt in the mind of the organised labour. By the way, labour is partners in progress with government.”
Furthermore, Ubani commended the leadership of the organised labour led by the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, for their patriotic disposition throughout the negotiations. And also urged him to persist in ensuring that workers and pensioners interests are not trampled upon by any one.