Nigerian pensioners, under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, staged a protest today, leading to the blockage of the entrance to the National Assembly complex. They were protesting over the none implementation of the 53.4 percent increase in their entitlements.
In the protest that lasted for over four hours, most lawmakers and visitors going into the complex could not gain entrance and had to go back as the protesters insisted that if they didn’t get their money, there would be no entry and exit from the complex.
The situation was brought under control with the appearance of the Senate President, represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petition, Patrick Ayo Akinyelue; Senators Kabir Marafa and Gbenga Ashafa.
The senators pleaded with the protesters that the leadership of the Senate would look into the matter immediately they return from recess which will begin this week.
They told the pensioners that all stakeholders would be summoned to look into the matter with a view to addressing the situation.
The legislatures however frowned against blocking the road or entrance saying it will not solve the problem but urged them to be patient while the matter would be addressed in due cause.
The leader of the protesters and Deputy National President of NUP, Mr. Musa Ayuba, told journalists that the grievances of the union include non-compliance with the constitutional provision which stipulated that once workers salary were reviewed, pensions should also be reviewed.
According to him, the recent increment which stood at 53.4 per cent for the pensioners is yet to be implemented even though the ex-servicemen have since started enjoying the increment.
Ayuba said the dialogue facilitated by Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria led to the formation of a high-powered committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim which led to the suspension of an industrial action by NUP.
He however regretted that the various meetings and decisions arrived at by the committee based on the pensioners problems as enumerated before President Goodluck Jonathan have not been fruitful. [myad]