National President of (NUP), Ali Abatcha
By Damilola Oyedele â€¨in Abujaâ€¨
The National Union of Pensioners (NUP) has alleged that at least 500 former workers of the Delta Steel Company Limited who were sacked by the company in 2005 have died while awaiting their severance benefits and entitlements.
The National President of (NUP), Ali Abatcha, in a statement issued at the weekend, further alleged that only 45 per cent of the over N11 billion due to the sacked 1,983 staff members has been made available to them.
He added that the union wrote a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan in June last year seeking his intervention, but was yet to receive any response.
The letter was also copied to the Senate and House Committees on Public Establishment, States and Local Government on Pension administration and management, Minister of Solid Minerals and the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), he added.
The decision to stop the pension payments of the existing pensioners and the non-placement of the disengaged workers on the monthly pension list, he further alleged, was taken by the management of the DSCL and some officials of the BPE.
"Another pathetic story of the DSCL pensioners is that although houses sold to them by federal government through the BPE as part payment of their entitlements, we are constrained to inform you that out of about 4,500 unit houses that were sold to the pensioners, about 600 units are yet to be accessed by the pensioners as the houses are being occupied by illegal occupants who have vowed not to quit the houses," he added in the statement.
Due to these hardships, many of the staff cannot meet their obligations to their families even in payment of school fees and health bills.
He appealed to all relevant authorities to intervene to ensure the pension payment of the disengaged staff to put a halt to the unnecessary and avoidable deaths.