The Nigerian Union of Pensioners NUP has written to the Federal Government expressing their displeasure on the refusal to allocate specific palliative measures to pensioners despite direct pleas to the Presidential task Force on COVID-19.
They have highlighted the various challenges facing members during this pandemic period and the huge importance for protection towards the age group due to the vulnerability to the infection ravaging the health of the elders as witnessed in other climes.
The President of NUP, Abel Afolayan has stated that the pensioners who are aged deserve government support as this virus is not friendly to the aged. He said “ We thought the task force would establish contact with the pensioners union after our pleading and letter dated April 17, 2020, stating that our members should be considered in palliative measure.
“Unfortunately we have yet to be contacted. During the briefing by the PTF, our agitation was raised but tactically ignored by the PTF. The DG of NCDC said that the aged are vulnerable and should be protected. How else do you protect them if not by extending palliative to them to stay home and be healthy?”
It is believed that distribution of palliative to the aged and poor could be best managed through organized groups like the NUP especially when they are aware of pensioners that are paid N3,000 and N5,000 monthly who qualify as poor.
The President also said “ If a union like the NUP is contacted by the national and state government, they can be assured that the palliatives will go to the right people with record of identity. The number of pensioners in Nigeria is in the millions and can be reached directly through the union.”
“ We have made contact with the government but the government has not embraced us to see through our challenge.”
We hope the government will utilized the various organized channels to reach the elders as the suffering of the aged during this period is unimaginable because they have been left to the effects of the pandemic without a structured palliative approach