The umbrella body of the Contributory Pension Scheme retirees in Nigeria, on Monday said that its members has lost confidence in the contributory pension scheme as a result of the Federal government’s inconsistent and discriminatory display in handling the scheme.
NUPCPS also declared its readiness to go on a war path with the Federal government over non payment of outstanding pension increase entitlements of 15% of 2007, 33% of 2010 and the consequential adjustment of pension of the national minimum wage of 2019 owed to its members.
Converged at the Conference Hall of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Abuja, under the nomenclature of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners Contributory Pension Scheme (NUPCPS), led by its National Chairman, Comrade Sylvanus Nwaiwu, the pensioners decried what they termed “inconsistent and discriminatory manner the Federal government is handling the (Contributory Pension) scheme”.
NUPCPS further said they are compelled to revealed to Nigerians that some group of retirees (mostly retired top hierarchy of civil servants, police and paramilitary) in their bid to exit from Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), revert themselves to the old Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS).
Nwaiwu went on to expressed the displeasure of the pensioners against the treatment government mete at them, saying; not only do the government undermine the rights of the CPS retirees, the Pension Operators have equally joined suit. He hinted on how the National Pension Commission (Pencom) recently announced release of funds for payment for 2.5% Employer different arrears but his members have not received a dime of the money till date.
“The agreed conditions and terms between the government (as employer) and Nigerian workers guiding the Contributory Pension policy have been grossly violated, reneged upon, and abused by the Federal government as a party.” Nwaiwu, added.
The NUPCPS members further said; “We have lost confidence in the scheme due to the inconsistent and discriminatory manner the Government (as employer) is handling the scheme. For instance, since 2019, to say the least, there has been a re-cycling budget line in the annual budget of the National Pension Commission (Pencom) for the payment of outstanding pension liabilities to cps retirees without any release of funds to that effect.
“Our suspicion is that this method is being employed to stop the unsuspecting cps retirees from engaging in any public protest for the payment of their pension increase entitlements in the belief that provision has been made for it in ‘the budget; Enough is enough!
“Retirees under the CPS have come here today to tell fellow Nigerians that as a result of Government’s inconsistency and discriminatory implementation of the contributory pension scheme policy, we have lost confidence in the scheme, and except all their outstanding pension increase entitlements are paid to them before the end of the First quarter of this year 2023, all civil servants, both serving and retired, will have no other option than to pull out of the cps and to request to be reverted to the old Defined benefit scheme (DBS) forthwith.
“We call on the Nigeria media to come to the aid of Nigerian retirees under the contributory pension scheme by bringing their plights to the public domain.
“We call on the leaders of Organised Labour in Nigeria to know that; ‘a worker today is tommorow’s retiree’, and to therefore stand up and prevail on the Federal government of Nigeria to declare a state of emergency on pensions to right the wrongs going on in Nigeria’s pension industry.
“We call on all the anti-corruption Agencies to investigate from 2019 to date if there were any release of funds by the Federal Government for the payment of pension increase arrears to retirees under the CPS and what happened to the funds (if any release of funds) including the N700bn Government’s bonds in 2022, which was made public as being raised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) of the Budget thce in the Federal Ministry of Finance for the payment of all entitlements to retirees under the CPS amongst others.”