From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Some group of unpaid Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) pensioners yesterday threatened to embark on protest if the Federal Government failed to include them in the payment of pension and gratuity as they urged President Jonathan to pay them off.
According to an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan read to newsmen in Kaduna, the group said the retired PHCN staff in 2013, 2012, 2011 and part of 2010 are yet to be paid their gratuity.
Reading the letter to newsmen at the State Council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Joseph Audu, who led the protesting group, lamented that the Federal Government wanted them to die before their time.
“You paid the conventional staff off and abandoned the pensioners. Is it a crime for one to serve his or her father land for 35 years and retired? Some of our co-pensioners died in Kaduna recently, simply because they could not afford to pay hospital bills and therefore were not taken to any hospital for treatment.
“We have all undergone bio-metric exercises four times, still, we are not paid and some of us are having children in various higher institutions. But we are gradually been rendered useless before our children, thereby sending us to early grave”, he lamented.
The group therefore, urged President Jonathan to complete his good work in the power sector, by equally paying the pensioners off.
They further alleged that, Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) has been starving the PHCN pensioners, claiming that, their monthly pension of January and February 2014 was paid on March 14 and that of March was yet to be paid.
According to them, NELMCO was incompetent to manage their pension.