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NPA denies owing 530 disengaged workers

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(Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied owing about 530 workers disengaged from service in 2008.

The Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Ibrahim Nasiru, said that the 530 disengaged workers of May 2008, were not qualified to benefit from the monetisation policy of the Federal Government, saying that the workers were disengaged before the policy came into force in July 2018.

The aggrieved pensioners, led by Christopher Ogbodu and Victor Ibitamuyo, had earlier alleged that they were yet to get the three months salaries in lieu of the disengagement.

“We are also yet to receive payment of gratuity in line with the monetisation policy of the Federal Government. Also, we have not been enrolled into the defined benefit pension scheme of the NPA” they claimed.

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But Nasir told The Guardian that the disengaged pensioners were finally settled in December 2013, after full payment of the agreed benefits amounting to over N753 million.

He described claims by the workers under the aegis of “Association of 530 Disengaged NPA Workers” as malicious and misleading.

“Management wishes to state categorically and unequivocally that the information is capable of derailing the company’s responsibilities to deliver corporate service to its large public.

“That in the fulfilment of all reform preconditions, the May, 2008 rationalisation was carried out based on the provision of the Public Service Reform guidelines.

“However, the process of concluding this exercise led to delay in the implementation of the monetisation policy of the Federal Government.”

“Therefore, to comply with the preconditions, implementation of the policy commenced 1st July, 2008 after the May 2008 rationalisation exercise. Agitation from the two house unions for payment of arrears on monetization based on the January approval date, resulted in the agreement to pay arrears of three months to all existing employees from April to June, 2008 hence the two months’ arrears which was paid to them after their exit,” he said.

Giving a further breakdown and analysis of NPA’s interface with the disengaged workers, Nasir added: “In compliance with the directives of the Federal Government in the public service guidelines, those affected by the rationalisation exercise were not entitled to the monetisation and enhanced staff allowances, as it was a precondition before implementation of the scheme, thus the two months of monetisation arrears paid to them was regarded as an error made and accepted in good faith.”

Entitlement paid to them include three months’ salary in lieu based on their salaries at the time of disengagement; gratuity calculated in line with their salary at the date of exit, May 31, 2008; and 10 per cent pension and gratuity as compensation due to reorganisation was paid to them as provided for in the Pension Act (Decree 102 of 1979).

Others were pension contribution remittance to their RSA; accrued pension right remitted to their PFA/RSA using the Alexander Forbes actuarial valuation as at 31st May, 2008, among others.


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