Buhari endorses national minimum wage in pension payment

President Muhammadu Buhari has granted approval indicating an increase in payment of pension to pensioners under the pension scheme arising from increment in the minimum wage.

The acting chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, confirmed this on Friday in Calabar while briefing newsmen on the development.

Nta said the increment in the payment of the pension, which was with immediate effect, would be backdated to April 18, 2019, when the minimum wage was signed into law, adding that the affected pensioners would all be paid the arrears.

He said, “I am very delighted to inform you that as soon as Mr. President gave his approval, the circular indicating the pension increases for pensioners under the defined pension scheme was issued on April 29 to all relevant stakeholders for immediate implementation with effect from 18th April 2019.

“The National Minimum Wage Act 2019 legislated that the national minimum wage of N30, 000 should be applicable to all workers and employees in the Federal Republic of Nigeria except for exceptions as prescribed under the Act.

“Thereafter, the federal government and Unions held negotiations in respect of consequential adjustments of salaries from the new Minimum Wage which was finally concluded and circulars issued in 2019.

“As soon as the salary adjustments were concluded, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission held several meetings to increase pensions under the defined scheme.”

He said the review was done in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders like the National Union of Pensioners, Pension Transition Administration Department, and Budget Office of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, and Office of the Secretary to the federal government, among others.

“I want to seize this opportunity to thank all stakeholders and our patient pensioners for bearing with the processes that have finally culminated in the successful conclusion of the matter.

“I look forward to a more proactive and seamless implementation of subsequent increases in future so that our senior citizens who served their country will enjoy the fruits of their labour from a grateful country.”