By Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denounced the claim by a section of its former workers under the aegis of the Nigerian Ports Authority Concerned Pensioners (NPACP) that the agency was owing them pension arrears.
While alleging that the group was not known to any Nigerian law, the NPA said it ensures that all its pensioners get their monthly entitlements which cumulatively runs into about N700 million or N8.4 billion annually on the 22nd day of every month, way ahead of its serving members of staff.
The NPA which stated this in a statement signed by its General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Mr Jatto Adams, noted that all of its pensioners have access to the its medical facilities at no cost.
“In fact, the Authority only recently extended the opportunities for pensioners to attend referral medical facilities across the six geo-political zones of the country.
“Although members of this group, led by Mr. Charles Ayo Binitie are former employees of the Authority, most of who left the service between 2006 and 2007, they have refused to belong to the recognised Nigerian Ports Authority Pensioners Welfare Association (NPAPWA).
“The NPAPWA is recognised by management on the strength of a July 20, 2018 letter addressed to the Managing Director by the Chief Registrar, Federal High Court Lagos, Mr. A.A Tahir recognizing Alhaji Umar Ali Imam as the authentic caretaker committee member to take charge of the association, “it stated.
The NPA added that, “Even though the Authority has found this a legitimate ground not to have anything to do with the group, management has at various times in the past three years, given them audience and taken steps to address their complaints.
“Some of the steps, which have resulted from meetings with some of their representatives and affected NPA’s 8000 pensioners include: Harmonisation of pensions ranging from 15 per cent to 158 per cent paid to all categories of pensioners including the 2006/2007 set, the increase of pensions to all categories of pensioners including members of the NPACP by three per cent.”
Others it stated are the, “Payment of 18months arrears of three per cent increase on the harmonised pension/salary from January 2016 to June 2017, the NPA ensures that all its pensioners get their monthly entitlements which cumulatively runs into about N700 million on the 22nd day of every month, way ahead of serving members of staff.
“In addition to this, all pensioners have access to the Authority’s medical facilities at no cost. In fact, the Authority only recently extended the opportunities for pensioners to attend referral medical facilities across the six geo-political zones of the country.
“In spite of all of these and the already stated commitment of the Authority to the review of pensions every five years or alongside any federal civil service salary review(whichever comes first) in accordance with S.173(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, members of the NPACP have continued to try to hold the Authority to ransom.”