By LOVETH AZODO, Lagos
The Association Of Retired Federal Senior Public Officers Of Nigeria (ARFESPON) has decried on the anormally of the disparity between the payment of pensioners and regular workers, the delay in approval of payment of the 20.4percent illegally deducted from their pensions entitlement and 1percent illegal deduction by group who claim to represent their interests especially the National Union of Pensioners(NUP).
The Chairman Lagos State Chapter of ARFESPON, Mr. Olufemi Odewabi who spoke to newsmen in Lagos said the 20.4percent has not been paid to its members since 2010 despite several calls on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to look into their plight and effect immediate payment of the 20.4percent Illegal deduction.
The Chairman explained that under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration, the 2010 approval of 53.4percent increase in salary for workers was revised by then secretary to the government leading to an unconstitutional deduction of 20.4percent out of the 53.4percent for housing tax etc which is not in line with the provision of the constitution section 173(2-3), up till now pensioners are paid on 33percent increase.
“The review of the approval pension paid to pensioners did not portray the corresponding provision according to the constitution. Another problem that may arise from this action would be a wrong placement of pensioners now that your government is introducing a new minimum wage.” He said
On the disparity between the pensioners and workers payment he explained ” for example, it is very ridiculous for a retired director of 1979 to be earning N14,486.22 whereas a retired director of 2007 earns N231.594.85, not to mention the pension of the current retired director which is on a very higher pension, please note that a Civil Service pensioners are saddened seeing contemporary pensioners like Nigeria, National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) etc enjoying a parity based pension whereby their pension is based on whatever their current.
“The 1percent is being deducted from Civil Service Pensioners without their consent which invariably add more to their suffering and since pension is not a trade, we are appealing for the immediate stoppage of this deductions.” He said
The deduction is never introduced or effected on the pension of the police, customs to mention a few.