Alhaji Hassan Mohammed, the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Zamfara State, expressed deep concern over the plight of many pensioners who still receive a meager N3,000 per month as their pension. He questioned how these pensioners, who often have families to support, could manage to survive on such a paltry amount, emphasizing that they have been enduring severe hardship.
Mohammed highlighted the lack of any pension scheme review by the government since the creation of the State in 1996, leading to immense frustration among pensioners. Tragically, some pensioners have even passed away due to the overwhelming challenges they face.
In an exclusive interview, “I retired from active service in 2012, and as I am talking to you now, I have not received a single kobo as a gratuity.
“We are working hand in hand with the State wing of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to ensure that the State government settles the gratuity of some pensioners,” he said. In Gusau on Tuesday, Mohammed revealed that the previous administration had claimed to implement the N30,000 minimum wage but failed to improve the situation for the pensioners, leaving them without any tangible benefits from the supposed wage increase.
Regarding the Contributory Pension Scheme, he highlighted that the Zamfara State office responsible for managing the scheme had been neglecting its duty to remit contributions to the designated authorities. Instead, there were alleged reports of funds being diverted to private individuals’ accounts.
“Even pensioners that have been verified and cleared by the office of the State Head of Service, HOS, including those that are dead, have not been paid their contributions by the contributory pension scheme.
“There were corrupt practices in the scheme, which made the government of former Governor Abdul Aziz Yari revoke the contract between the State government and the Contributory Pension Scheme,” he further disclosed.