NUP contends that members are among the most hit by the lockdown and restriction of movement as they are mostly elderly who need care and attention more than others at this critical period
It calls on the President Muhammadu Buhari led-Federal Government to include the pensioners in the relief materials being distributed to vulnerable Nigerians to alleviate their suffering as a result of coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, NUP argued that the pensioners should be the number one beneficiaries of any palliative by the government because they constituted the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic due to their old age.
According to the statement by the General Secretary of the NUP, Elder Actor Zal, said 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 argued that to ensure that the palliatives got to genuine pensioners, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, should liaise with the National Secretariat of the NUP, in Abuja for proper identification through her 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 the 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, saying “ the union is well entrenched to ensure the distribution of the palliatives to their members at the grassroots with a 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 the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Socio Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Faruk, on the imperative of including the pensioners in the palliative.