Federal parastatal pensioners task government on arrears
Pensioners of the Federal Parastatal have appealed to the Federal Government to look into their plights and pay them their over 24 months arrears Engr. Adewale Anthony Ogunkoya, Secretary, Federal Parastatal Pensioners of Nigeria (FPPN), who was at Rutam House, the Corporate office of The Guardian Newspapers, said, such payment will alleviate the plight of his members.
According to him, Federal Government pensioners are passing through untold hardship, while some are already dead as a result of non-payment of their arrears.
He added that the situation is so bad that some cannot afford their personal needs, pay medical bills or children’s school fees.
He disclosed that since the approval for the payment of the arrears was given four years ago and implemented a year later his members have not been paid, while the regular workers have all received theirs.
He wondered what would have caused the delay, saying such delay amounts to unfair treatment of pensioners that toiled to build the economy and uphold the nation.
He said: “Since the approval was given by the Federal Government vide circular ref no; WSC/5/04/5.542/26, dated September 26, 2014 and implemented late 2015; it is unbelievable that after our counterparts in the service have been paid, our members are still being owed between 24-36 months.
This discriminatory treatment is unjust and unfair to us (pensioners), who served the country meritoriously.”
Engr. Ogunkoya disclosed that the Vice President, Professor Osinbajo, while acting as President, set up a committee to look into the situation and that the committee has since submitted its reports and following the submission a sum of N2.7 trillion out of which N740billion was approved for the settlement of pensioners claim, but up till date Federal Parastatal Pensioners are yet to be paid the money.
Citing Section 173 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he said the right of a person in the public service to receive pension or gratuity is guaranteed, and that pension must not be withheld or altered to pensioner’s disadvantage.
Ogunkoya observed that delay in the payment of the outstanding arrears amounts to withholding their entitlement.
He called for the immediate settlement of the arrears in full, especially now that government is thinking of reviewing minimum wage, so that, there won’t be any logjam.
He disclosed that letters of appeal, personal approaches and other efforts put in place in the past made government to pay them six months arrears in Dec 2017, remaining a balance of between 24 months for some and 36 months for others.
“Do you know that there are some pensioners who get as little as N4,000 to N6,000 per month, yet the money don’t get to them as of when due.
Also, pensioners who retired in the 1990s still get the same amount computed for them when they retired.
This is not right; so we want government to harmonise this, to enable us be at par with our colleagues who retired recently.
“This would not only boost our income, but would enable us meet some of our needs,” he said.
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