Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to include the nation’s pensioners among beneficiaries of relief materials being distributed to vulnerable Nigerians.
The union said pensioners needed everything they can get to alleviate their suffering, as a result of coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic lockdown across the country.
In a statement in Abuja, NUP argued that the pensioners should be number one beneficiaries of any palliative from government because they constituted the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic due to their old age.
According to the statement by NUP General Secretary, Elder Actor Zal, the lockdown and movement restriction would affect the elderly, who are mostly pensioners and advised President Buhari to, through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, include the pensioners as the government begins the distribution to the most vulnerable.
The union contended that to ensure that the palliatives got to genuine pensioners, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 should liaise with the national secretariat of NUP in Abuja for proper identification through its state and local government offices.
The statement said: “The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, national headquarters has made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to include Nigerian pensioners as beneficiaries in the palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians, to cushion the effects of the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pensioners.
“Pensioners are one of the most vulnerable in the country and, therefore, appealed to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to liaise with the union on how to get the palliative distribution to the real pensioners in all the nooks and crannies of the country.”
The statement noted that the union had widespread membership and the required structure in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja, as well as in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
It noted that “the union is well entrenched to ensure the distribution of the palliatives to their members at the grassroots with limited hitch.”
NUP added that it had also written to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Faruk, on the imperative of including the pensioners in the palliatives.