Pensioners threaten protest as FG withholds wage awards 

Pensioners who retired from the Federal Civil Service have threatened a nationwide protest over the Federal Government’s failure to pay their wage awards.

The pensioners, under the aegis of Federal Civil Service Pensioners, an affiliate of the National Union of Pensioners, expressed dismay at the Bola Tinubu-led administration’s failure to pay the wage awards despite the untold hardship currently being faced by Nigerians following the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.

Tinubu announced during his October 2023 Independence Day speech that his administration will pay N35,000 to active workers and N25,000 to pensioners pending the completion of negotiations for the new minimum wage.

Though the government commenced the payment of active workers, the scheme was suspended before it took off again in December 2023 after pressure from the Organised Labour.

While addressing selected press members in Abuja on Wednesday, Sunday Omezi, President of the Federal Civil Service Pensioners, said pensioners were experiencing excruciating pain and agony.

“We feel constrained to bring to the knowledge of the world through this medium, the excruciating pains and agony we have been subjected to over the years by the same government we served vigorously and diligently with our youthful energy without blemish only to be abused, dehumanised, marginalised and neglected with reckless abandon, after sapping our energy and leaving us dejected and consigned to rot and death.”

Speaking on the unpaid wage award, Omezi said, “It is pathetic and disappointing to bring to the fore the non-payment of the N25,000 wage award promised to pensioners by the government.

“It is rather distasteful that up to date, no single payment has been made to pensioners. We are hereby demanding immediate payment of the award because it is so embarrassing for such a promise to be left unfulfilled.”

Omezi also noted that pensioners have been profusely crying tears of pain over the years, as evidenced by several official representations to the government.

“Our telling has been deliberately ignored, hence we are left with no option, but to cry out louder to the world to be informed of the pathetic condition we have been made to suffer by the same system that is expected to protest us.”

When asked whether the union would protest, Omezi said, “We are hoping it won’t get to that. That is the major reason we have this press briefing. However, if nothing is done, we may have to embark on a protest.”

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