Pensioners laud Kaduna Govt over income security to retirees

Some pensioners in Kaduna State have lauded the state government for addressing poverty among aged retirees through the provision of monthly pension as income security.

The pensioners gave the commendation in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria, in Kaduna, on Wednesday.

Pension is one of the most widespread forms of social protection in the world, the objective is to prevent poverty and provide income security to older persons.

The delivery of pensions is being monitored in line with SDG to end all forms of poverty, through the implementation of appropriating social protection systems that covers the aged in the society.

Alhaji Alhassan Musa, State Secretary, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Kaduna State Chapter, told NAN that Kaduna State was one of the best states in the country that often took the interest of pensioners at heart.

According to Musa, no pensioner in the state receives less than N30,000 as monthly pension, compared to other states which still pay as little as N3,000 to retirees as pension.

“Not only that, thanks to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, we are getting our pension as and when due, compared to other states which owe pensioners up to 74 months pension. As I am talking to you now, state pensioners are about to get their September pension, while local government pensioners will receive their pension in the coming week.”

“Any pensioner that did not receive his pension might be because he did not go to his bank for thumb verification as proof that he or she is alive, an exercise being carried out every 90 days,” he said.

Musa said the union uses local government councils across the state to receive complaints, and channel the same to the State Pension Bureau for necessary action.

The secretary, however, urged political party candidates in the 2023 General Election, to prioritise social protection in their campaign manifesto.

“This will help sustain the social protection reforms the current government has begun, particularly in pension scheme, and pensioners will support any candidate that will build on what Gov El-Rufai has started,” he said.

A pensioner, Malam Abdu Magaji, who retired 15 years ago, told NAN that his monthly pension was increased from N14,000 to N30,000 in line with the national minimum wage.

Magaji, who is the Deputy Chairman of the union in Soba Local Government Area, said that he spent 35 years in service without investment and income generating skills, and therefore, the pension was his only source of income.

“Although the government is consistent in payment, it is usually delayed, sometimes up to two or three weeks into the new month,” he said.

Another pensioner, Mr Rilwanu Abdulkadir, who retired from the State Ministry of Education in 2017, said that it took him four years after retirement before he began receiving the monthly pension.

Abdulkadir, who considered himself lucky, said that some of his co retirees were yet to begin receiving their pension because they had not reached the age of 50 as required.

“The situation is very pathetic for those still awaiting their pension. Some of them had been abandoned by their wives because they can no longer feed or support them. Government should make necessary adjustments to pay pensioners their entitlements the moment they retire to alleviate their suffering,” he said.

On his part, Mr Bello Dauda, who retired in 2016, commended the state government for the consistency in the payment of the monthly pension.

Dauda, however, said that he was yet to receive his gratuity, six years and counting since retirement, stressing that he needed the money to acquire land and venture into agricultural production.

On her part, Prof. Salamatu Isah, Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Pension Bureau, said that the state government was up to date in remittances to Pension Fund Administrators under the State Contributory Pension Scheme.

Isah said that the state government had in August, approved the sum of N860 million for the payment of gratuity and death benefits to retirees and families of deceased.

“The payment is both for state and local government retirees under the Defined Benefit Scheme,” she said.

Source: NAN

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