Workers’ Pensions May Increase In 2024 – Wages Commission

By Clement Alphonsus

According to the details contained in the report on the harmonisation of pensions submitted to the Federal Government by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, pensioners in the federal civil service may get a raise in their pension stipends next year.

It was disclosed that the raise would be for Federal Government pensioners under the new pension scheme including those in the previous scheme.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the Head of the commission’s Press Unit, Emmanuel Njoku, it said the pensioners, led by their Chairman, Samuel Adewale, paid a courtesy visit on the Chairman of the wages commission, Ekpo Nta, where NSIWC boss answered some of their questions.

The statement noted that, “The chairman of the commission informed his guests that the commission had forwarded to the government sometime in May 2023, its report on the harmonisation of pensions for consideration after synthesising inputs from relevant stakeholders, including pension unions, and the availability of funds, and that the commission was regularly following this up since it would have a bearing in considering pension increases in 2024.”

Njoke, while providing further explanation on the development, said, “The raise is going to be in accordance with the negotiated minimum wage for Federal Government workers both in the current and previous pension schemes.”

According to the statement, in response to the pensioners’ complaints of non-receipt of the payment of the recently approved palliatives, the NSIWC chairman, explained that the relevant organs of government were addressing the issues.

The commission stated that the Chairman, Committee on Pension NUP-ASU/Parastals, Gabriel Oladele, who was among the delegates, has advised the NWISC to intervene in the wrong computation of their consequential adjustments and the unreasonable deductions from their pensions after decades of enjoying same.

In his comments, Nta noted that the commission would look into the two issues based on the documents the union had submitted.

He also explained to his guests that the commission’s circulars were usually issued after wide consultations with major stakeholders including the Federal Government.

The NWISC stated in its statement, “Usually, where there is cogent reason, a crossed-reference clarification circular is issued by the commission after due process for record purposes.

“In response to a pensioner’s observation that the constitution provides for a ‘corresponding increase in pensions,’ he (NWISC chairman) stated that the word ‘corresponding’ was not used in Section 173(3). He further clarified that increases in allowances for serving officers cannot also be interpreted as increases in salaries."

Nta also urged the union to negotiate with friendly Health Maintenance Organisations to provide affordable health insurance covers for their members after explaining how they could benefit from such services.