ASUU laments plights of Nigerian university retirees

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The  (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi on Monday lamented the plights of Nigerian university retirees, saying they are often made to pass through harrowing experiences just to collect the pension and benefits that are rightly theirs after active service.

Ogunyemi said the routine delay in the payment of retirement benefits for universities retirees could be traced to endemic corruption, moral indifference and systematic inefficiency.

The ASUU President spoke at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State during a “Sensitization Workshop on Implications of Contributory Pension Scheme on future earnings of Academic Staff in Nigeria Universities.

The workshop was put together by the OOU branch of the ASUU to sensitize members on issues around contributory pension scheme.

Ogunyemi who was represented by the Zonal Coordinator, Abuja branch, Theophilus Lagi, said it is appalling and disappointing to observe that workers who had diligently served Nigeria “are hardly accorded the respect due to them.

According to him, university retirees have been subjected “to all manners of inhuman treatment – ranging from monthly shuttles between their locations to State or Federal headquarters to “trace” documents; endless queues at verification centres, sometimes resulting in death casualties.

He noted that the need address those challenges informed the calls for the Nigerian University Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO), which added, has been granted operational license last February to run a separate pension arrangement for the university system.

The ASUU President revealed that NUPEMCO has commenced operations after initial challenges, stressing that its philosophy is “rooted in humanism and progressive ideology.

He said: “Eminent scholars and senior colleagues who retired from the Nigerian University System (NUS) in the last two decades or so have not been spared of these and other forms of undignified treatment.

“NUPEMCO is an expression of the basic commitment of our Union to the protection of the life and the future of members of the university community. For this reason, it is our duty to nurture it to become the best in the industry,” he said.

In his address, the Chairman of ASUU-OOU, Joel Okewale said workshop was organized to educate members of the union on the benefits, complexities as well as the roles of the regulatory body in the operation of the scheme.

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