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Pensioners tackle FG on pension plan

Posted by By TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri on 2008/06/17 | Views: 1676 |

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Pensioners tackle FG on pension plan


The National President of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Alhaji Ali Abatcha, has asked the Federal Government to consider the plight of pensioners by designing a pension plan that is capable of making retirees enjoy their retirement after years of service, noting that it was an effective way to fight corruption in the nationís public service.

The National President of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Alhaji Ali Abatcha, has asked the Federal Government to consider the plight of pensioners by designing a pension plan that is capable of making retirees enjoy their retirement after years of service, noting that it was an effective way to fight corruption in the nationís public service.

Abatcha, who spoke on behalf of the association in an interview with Daily Sun in Maiduguri, maintained that corruption was rife in the public service because the nationís leaders have failed to provide hope of a better life for the people in retirement.

"There is this feeling among public workers that you have to start looking for ways to survive in retirement because the system does not provide good resting plan for its people. So they engage in corrupt practices, claiming they are saving for their future and that of their children," he said.

He said the fear of being poor coupled with the harrowing experience pensioners usually undergo to collect their benefits encouraged corrupt practices in the country. He explained that bureaucrats have discovered they can earn more income from providing services to groups seeking state favours than from their regular jobs, arguing that no effective clean-up in the civil service can be done by government without addressing the problem of pensioners.

"In a society where civil service compensations are relatively low, where pensioners have been turned to beggars and left to suffer, a significant part of the public servants will be corrupt. This, to me is the reality in this country and the situation is even worse in the private sector where in most cases, there are no plans for pension," he noted.

He disclosed that despite the improvement in the payment of pension to beneficiaries, there were still a lot of problem militating against effective pension scheme. He identified default in payment of contributions by the three tiers of government, lack of data base for all pensioners in the country and lack of judicious use of the pension fund by those charged with the responsibility of managing it, as major challenges against effective payment of pension.

The pensioner boss also charged the federal government to come up with a policy that would address all the problems so that retirees would heave a sigh of relief.
"I believe by so doing, corruption will be reduced because people will not have any cause to fear how to spend their retirement," he opined.


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