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PHCN retirees demand payment of pension, seek government intervention

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A group, Concerned Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Pensioners (CPP) has appealed to the Federal Government to intervene over shortfalls in payments of pension benefits to its members by the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited (NELMCO).

Speaking in Lagos, the secretary of the association, Julius Ayodeji disclosed that some of the pension benefits; harmonisation, monetisation, and electricity rebates were trapped in NELMCO.

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Ayodeji stated that NELMCO officially transferred pension payment obligation to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) in July 2014, but that the budget office remitted arrears to NELMCO instead of PTAD, thereby causing administrative conflicts.

He added: “This is the reason we believe that umbrella body, the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) of the electricity sector has a case to answer.”

He explained that before their premature retirement, there was an increment in the workers’ salary by 100 per cent by former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, and a further increment of 42 per cent by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

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He noted that 16,000 retirees spread all over the country were affected by the shortfall in payment of pension benefits.

He said: “Our retirement was unjust in the year 2000. Some of us spent about 15 to 18 years in service, till this moment, we are yet to be paid the benefits. These benefits consist of harmonisation, monetisation, and electricity rebates.”

Dunmoye accused the electricity sector of the NUP, which had the mandate to protect the rights of pensioners, of conniving with NELMCO to frustrate the struggle due to selfish reasons.

“We are using this opportunity to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct those holding our pensions to release it,” he said.

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