Retired federal civil service retirees under the Defined Benefits Scheme on Sunday said the Federal Government had turned pensioners to second-class citizens of the country.
They alleged that some of their colleagues were still being paid N4,000 monthly as pension.
This, they claimed, was because of the Federal Government’s refusal to review their pensions upward and harmonise their pensions every five years as provided for in the 1999 Constitution.
They, therefore, demanded an upward review and harmonisation of their pensions, which they said had not been done since 2010 contrary to the constitution.
The retirees under the aegis of the Federal Civil Service Pensioners in a statement by their National Chairman, Sunday Omezi, insisted that it was time government harmonised pensions of its retired workers just as it did for those in the military in January 2019.
Omezi, who regretted that some retirees were still receiving N4,000 as monthly pensions, asked the Federal Government to increase minimum pension from N4,000 to N25,000 per month.
He expressed concern that the government had relegated its civil service retirees to second- class citizens, and appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to look into the plight of pensioners.
He said, “Now, it seems the Federal Government has taken pensioners as second-class citizens. We appeal to the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, harmonise our monthly pensions. They have harmonised military pensions.
“Military pensions were harmonised in January 2019. We expected the government to equally harmonise the pensions of civilians. But they don’t want to harmonise ours! That is why we said they have taken us as second-class citizens.
“Also, in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Government is supposed to be reviewing our monthly pensions every five years. The last one they did was in 2010. We were due for another review in 2015 which was not done.
“We are now in 2020 for another one but in 2019, workers’ salaries were increased and the constitution says they are supposed to review our monthly pensions every five years or whenever workers’ salaries are increased but nothing is happening.
“Workers’ salaries have been increased and they have started enjoying their new salaries but where is the monthly pension increase for pensioners? The agitation by the Nigeria Labour Congress for increase in workers’ pay was approved to 30 per cent recently. But unfortunately, we, as pensioners, were not considered for this increment. This is against the constitution which says pension must be reviewed every five years or whenever there is review of workers’ salaries.”