From Rashidat AbdulRahman, Minna
Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago has advised all labour unions in the state to strive to sustain the welfare and well- being of their members.
The Governor gave the advice on Thursday during the commissioning of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) secretariat built by the union and called on the pensioners to support the ongoing reform agenda of his administration.
Represented by his Deputy, Comrade Yakubu Garba, the governor stated that the state government will soon begin biometric data capturing and automation of all pensioners to get their actual number in the state.
According to him, “we have a problem of corruption. Pensioners monies are not safe, the use of technology to sanitize the system is the only way out and all pensioners should support this reform”.
Bago said recently, the state government discovered on the website, some pensioners who were collecting three pensions, stressing that the ongoing reform agenda will bring sanity in the system and the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman, Niger State Council of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Comrade Ishaku Ndagi, said the secretariat was built with pensioners money without assistance from government or any organisation.
He appealed to the state government to include pensioners into the present administration’s “New Niger Agenda” and also commence payment of gratuities to retirees who are still alive and those who have died at both local and state levels.
Comrade Ishaku Ndagi called on the state government to pay October 2020 pension allowance to local government retirees, harmonise the monthly pension and resume payment of contributory pension scheme.
He disclosed that the union plans to build a clinic dedicated to cartering for the health needs of pensioners and appealed to government to assist the union with land.
In his goodwill message, Deputy Speaker of the Niger State Assembly, Hon. Afiniki Dauda, advised people still in active service to always treat pensioners well and give them the needed attention.
Similarly, the National President of NUP, Comrade Godwin Abumisi, advised other state unions to emulate Niger State by leaving a legacy behind, adding that the secretariat will help in the development of the state.
Also, the Director General of Niger State Pension Board, Alhaji Nasiru Namaska, who was represented by Mrs Alice Ali, commended pensioners for using their resources to build the secretariat which would stand as a legacy.