By Goodluck Ikiebe
A Group of Human Right Activists consisting of Retired Civil Servants) led by Comrade Oloko A. Akuma, has called on the Federal Government to include all Pensioners under the Contributory Pension scheme in the recently approved N25,000 Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of President Tinubu meant to ameliorate the sufferings of vulnerable Nigerians and pensioners.
The group led by Comrade Oloko Akuma, told journalists in Abuja at a News briefing on Sunday that the payment of palliatives to Pensioners under the scheme is a necessity to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy withdrawal in the country.
The Group said that the call became necessary in view of the fact that the Pension Commission saddled with the responsibilities of providing specific regulatory supervision and welfare services through the Pension Funds Administration Providers in the country deliberately excluded this category of pensioners from the program thereby denying them of benefiting from this government’s laudable gestures.
Mr Akuma added that, “the same PENCOM Commission in conjunction with the Pension Transitional Administration Directorate (PTAD) and Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) submitted the data of all pensioners under the so called Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) as part of the priority groups to benefit from the just approved CCT program”.
The Group further explained that the pensioners under the DBS are the old retired staff before the introduction of the Contributory Pension Scheme by the Obasanjo administration.
According to the Group, this category of pensioners is currently under the administration of PTAD.
” The question now is, are Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) Pensioners not Nigerians, who had equally put in 35 years of their active and youthful lives in serving the nation without blemish?” It asked.
The Group vehemently condemned the discriminatory, non challant and unpatriotic attitude of the PENCOM leadership towards the CPS pensioners and passionately appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene and direct the leadership of PENCOM and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to immediately forward the list of all pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme ( both the recipients of annuity and programme withdrawal) to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation without further delay for the inclusion of this category of Pensioners, who are classified by PENCOM as “inconsequential in the society”.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government recently launched the Conditional Cash Transfer ( CCT) program targeted to assist 15 million economically vulnerable Nigerians including Pensioners for the period of three months.
Our Correspondent reports that some members of the group condemned the discriminatory attitude of the agencies saddled with the task of bringing succour to the plight of Pensioners and seek for their urgent inclusion in the palliative Programme.