FG unveils monthly ₦25,000 support for vulnerable pensioners

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FG unveils monthly ₦25,000 support for vulnerable pensioners
FG unveils monthly ₦25,000 support for vulnerable pensioners

In a significant move to provide assistance to vulnerable pensioners, the Federal Government has officially declared its commitment to grant a monthly payment of ₦25,000 to those in need.

This initiative, which forms a crucial component of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program under the National Social Register, was disclosed by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu, during a meeting held in Abuja with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Minister Edu highlighted that the impetus for this initiative came from President Bola Tinubu’s strong dedication to the well-being of labor leaders.

She clarified that the decision to include retired civil servants in the program was a direct response to the President’s pledge to support pensioners who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

“At the meeting, the President made it explicitly clear that immediate inclusion of vulnerable pensioners in the National Social Register is a priority, allowing them to benefit from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) as part of the expansion of the national social safety net,” Minister Edu remarked.

While some, including the President of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Godwin Abumisi, expressed gratitude for this initiative, there were differing opinions among stakeholders. Dr. Pogu Bitrus, President of the Middle Belt Forum, criticized the intervention as inadequate, calling for attention to broader economic issues such as fuel subsidy removal and the overhaul of the country’s refineries to alleviate financial burdens effectively.

Furthermore, concerns were voiced regarding the potential mismanagement of funds. Dr. Ugwu Anthony, an Associate Professor of Medical Imaging, expressed apprehension about the possibility of embezzlement, emphasizing the need for transparent implementation.

Maxi Okwu, a legal practitioner, stressed the urgency of repairing the country’s refineries instead of offering temporary financial relief.

Former Katsina State House of Assembly member, Yusuf Shehu, shared similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive solutions to address the economic challenges facing millions of Nigerians.

In contrast, Alhaji Yerima Shettima of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum appreciated the government’s efforts to assist pensioners, acknowledging the complexities of the situation.

He commended the government’s commitment amid the prevailing economic challenges.

Seigha Manager, a Niger Delta activist, criticized the initiative, arguing that it falls short of addressing the wider societal challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians.

He raised questions about the exclusion of various affected groups and urged the government to consider the plight of the unemployed, market women, and other marginalized segments of the population.