The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, on Monday blamed delay in the payment of retirement benefits to universities’ retirees on what he called corruption, moral indifference and systematic inefficiency.
Ogunyemi spoke at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago – Iwoye, Ogun state during a Sensitization Workshop organized by the ASUU-OOU Chapter.
It was themed: “Sensitization Workshop on Implications of Contributory Pension Scheme on Future Earnings of Academic Staff in Nigeria Universities.”
Represented by the Zonal Coordinator, Abuja branch, Theophilus Lagi, Ogunyemi expressed dismay that workers who had diligently served Nigeria “are hardly accorded the respect due to them.”
Retirees, he submitted, have been subjected “to all manners of inhumane treatment – ranging from monthly shuttles between their locations to state or federal headquarters for “tracing” documents; endless queues at verification centres, sometimes resulting in death casualties.”
He said the need to curb the ugly trend led to the demand for the Nigerian University Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO) which has been granted operational license in February to run a separate pension arrangement for the university system.
Ogunyemi said after the initial hiccups, the NUPEMCO has begun in full swing with its philosophy “rooted in humanism and progressive ideology.”
“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 the 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.