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Published On: Wed, Sep 10th, 2014

PHCN retirees protest against non-payment of pension benefits

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Protest over Unpaid PensionsRetirees of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), protested in Lagos yesterday against the non-payment of their accumulated pension benefits.

They called on President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently come to their assistance by ordering relevant ministries and agencies to pay up their allowances.

They include the Ministry of Finance, the Accountant General of the Federation, and National Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters carried placards with various inscriptions including: “Finance Minister, where is our money?

“Agbogun and NELMCO pay PHCN pensioners our entitlements,’’ “who is holding our pension? NELMCO or ..?’’ Others read “President Jonathan, please order the release of our pensions, arrears, hamonisation, monetisation, and electricity rebate, pensioners are dying. Sam Agbogun, release our money.’’ Chairman of the pensioners in Alimosho, Mr Lawrence Aremo who led the

protest, told newsmen that they were being owed for four months (May to August).

Aremo said that they were also owed other outstanding benefits spanning over several years.

“Some of these entitlements are: gratuities, Electricity Rebate Arrears since 2009, and especially since NELMCO under Dr Sam Agbogun took over payment of our pensions in August 2012.

“Others are harmonisation and monetisation arrears, 133 per cent and the 33 per cent increase which was granted since 2013 to all federal pensioners amongst others,“ he said.

He said the pensioners were paid haphazardly and usually delayed. Aremo said several meetings were held between the representatives of the retirees with the NELMCO management, adding that all the verbal promises to them had not been fulfilled.

Mr Rotimi Fashina, another retiree, said some of them were forced to retire early but that their gratuities and other entitlements were still being withheld.

He said that a retiree, who was in the news recently, hung himself out of hunger and frustration, adding that the retirees could not meet family obligations.

“Some of us were injured in service, we have a blind man who was forced to retire yet is being owed several months of pension,’’ he said.

He said that the retirees were sure that the President was not given the right information about the pensioners and issued a “Save Our Soul’’ message for quick action.

Also, Alhaji Rafiu Kenshiro, said that some of the increase in allowances approved for them while still in service, were yet to be implemented. (NAN)

 

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