Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pensioners have urged the Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, to approve an immediate payment of at least two months pension gratis to its members, as an interim palliative measure to cushion the hardship arising from the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19. The pensioners also requested an upward review of their pension, which they noted was overdue.
According to them, they want action to be expedited to ensure the prompt commencement of the payment of the new pension and the accrued arrears arising from the impending general pension review, most preferably, before the end of May 2020. In a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the group, Chimezie Ahaneku, the pensioners, said the CBN management should act on the requests simultaneously, pending the conclusion of the process and there actual payment of the long-awaited new pension rates.
The group said the issues of palliative at this time to cushion the harsh and adverse effects of the novel coronavirus is not only a national one but was also being implemented by various governments, organisations and institutions worldwide, particularly in favour of the elderly and most vulnerable persons in the society and “we therefore expect the CBN to do so for its pensioners who, as elderly people also, rank among the most vulnerable in our society.”
The pensioners, who noted that if approved, it would not be the first time the CBN would be paying palliative to its pensioners. “For instance, after the CBN pensioners won the pension harmonisation case at the Supreme Court on May 21, 2010, the pensioners thereafter expected a quick implementation of the judgment but the CBN management promised to pay the harmonised pension rates before the Christmas Day of that year. But, when the payment was not ready at the time promised, the then Mallam Sanusi Lamido-led CBN administration graciously approved and paid each CBN pensioners six months pension gratis in December 2010 palliative as a compensation for the delay before later paying the harmonised pension the following year.