Retirees appeal to government to pay outstanding pension benefits
The Association of Retired Senior Public Officers of Nigeria (ARFESPON), has urged the Federal Government to pay its members all outstanding pension benefits and erase every disparity in payment of pension benefits between its members and their serving counterparts.
ARFESPON, made up of retired management level officers from salary grade level 14 to permanent secretaries, Comptrollers-Generals of Customs, Immigration and Prisons and career ambassadors, said currently, government is owing its members 30 months arrears of benefits from the 53.4 per cent salary increase it effected on federal public workers in 2010, which by the stipulations of the law of the federation should be effected on the retirement benefits of pensioners.
The President, Lagos State Chapter of the association, Olufemi Odewabi, making this demand from government on behalf of ARFESPON members, in Lagos, said government is yet to listen to the yearnings of the retired senior public officers, who have been pleading with government to totally effect the 2010 increase in their pension benefits and to end the era of disparity in the payment of retirement benefits to pensioners.
He noted that the Federal Government, during the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan, effected 53.4 per cent increase in the salaries of public office workers and failed to do the same to pensioners.
He quoted section 173, sub section 3 of the Constitution of Nigeria on this which states that “pension shall be reviewed every five years or together with any federal civil service salary reviews which ever is earlier.”
Odewabi said when his association reacted to government’s non compliance with the above section of the law regarding the increase it made in the salaries of its workers in 2010, government set up a committee to review the case, but the committee went contrary to the position of the constitution on the issue and recommended for 33 per cent increase for the pensioners against 53.4 per cent effected on federal workers’ salaries.