Pensioners want ILO to include members’ welfare in its mandate


The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in South-West zone has appealed to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to factor in the welfare of pensioners in its mandate.


The union’s Public Relations Officer, Dr. Olusegun Abatan, made the plea in a letter addressed to the Director-General of ILO in Geneva, Switzerland, on behalf of pensioners in the zone.


A copy of the letter was made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Ibadan.


ILO is currently holding its conference in Geneva, Switzerland where the letter was submitted to ILO Director-General by Abatan on behalf of pensioners in Nigeria.


Abatan said that condition of many pensioners in the Third World was appalling, noting that pensioners in many Africa countries had suffered gross neglect from their respective governments.


He said that the gratuities and pensions have not been paid for upward period of 10 to 13 years in many states of African countries without help from the national governments.


According to him, ILO practices a tripartite structure through three main bodies namely representatives of governments, employers and workers.


“But, there is a great lacuna in factoring attention on the welfare of pensioners and retirees by ILO.


“Nigeria is a typical example of this gross neglect.


“Effects of the neglect have been debilitating diseases, hunger, wants and untimely deaths.


“If the ILO’s mandate is to cater for workers, certain policies should also be crafted for the welfare of pensioners who were once workers and sanctions should be meted out to governments that are not pensioners-friendly,” Abatan said.


He said that pensioners in the third World countries have been left to the vagaries of life and it has always been misery for these hapless people.


Abatan said he has gone through ILO’s Conventions from CO29 “Force Labour Convention (1930) to P155 Protocol of 2002 to the Occupational Safety and Health Convention (1981)”, and found that there was no Convention relating to the welfare of pensioners or retirees.


“If this has been an oversight, I urge you to address the issue; pensioners may be retired, they are not spent forces. They can still contribute immensely to the development of the World and social order.


“If there is a Minimum Wage Convention, there should also be a Minimum Pension Convention which should be at least 75 per cent of the minimum wage in any country,” Abatan said.


He said further that there should be welfare packages, either embedded in the minimum pension or paid separately.


Abatan said that pensioners also need protection from ILO.


He urged the ILO Director-General and his executive to create a window of attention to pensioners’ welfare worldwide.


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