DESPITE the recent approval of consequential adjustment in pensions arising from the implementation of the national minimum wage by President Muhammadu Buhari, the least paid retired pensioner from the civil service on Grade Level 01 still receives a paltry N23,426 monthly pensions.
Also, a civil servant who is lucky to retire at the highest level after service on Grade level 17 will henceforth receive N188,688 monthly pensions.
This was contained in the table of consequential adjustment in pensions arising from the implementation of the national minimum wage, recently released by the Acting chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta.
The consequential adjustment in pension affected retired civil servants in all the ministries and agencies. Nta pointed out that the table showed the ‘absolute increases’, adding that the approval takes effect from April 18, 2019, the date President Buhari signed the new National Minimum Wage into law.
He said: “It should be noted that retirees of agencies that are not in any of the above-mentioned salary structures will not be entitled to these increases in their pensions. However, these agencies should, in line with Sections 173 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and 3 (P) of NSIWC Act apply to the Commission to determine the appropriate increases that will be applicable to their retirees.”
According to the new pension table, a retiree on GL 01, who is currently on N14,733 monthly pension, will have an increase of 59 per cent, which invariably takes his pension to N23, 426, thus enjoying an increase of N8,692.
Pensioners on GL 08 enjoyed a 12 per cent increase from N45,107 to N50,520, an increase of N5,412; while retirees on GL 17, the highest level in civil service have a 9 per cent increase from N173, 108 to N188, 688, an addition of N15,579. Responding to the meagre increase in pension, the General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Elder Actor Zal, said the experience has challenged the union to further intensify its agitation for a minimum pension.
He demanded a N30,000 minimum pension, same as in national minimum wage, adding that with the present economic reality, it would be very hard for a pensioner to survive with a paltry N23,426 per month.