Adejoke Adeleye, Abeokuta
Pensioners of the Nigerian Television Authority Contributory Pensioners’ Association (NTACOPAN), has called on the Federal Government Nigeria to come to their aid with regards to the Federal Contributory Pension Scheme, saying they cannot continue to suffer in silence.
NTACOPAN National President, Comrade Kayode da-Silva made the appeal during a press conference held on Thursday at the Iwe-Iroyin Press Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital.
The pensioners’ grievances were displayed in inscriptions written on the placards they brought to the press conference. Some of the placards read: “Fed Govt Pay Our 33% and 15% Pension Arrears”, ”Fed Govt Is Yet To Pay Contributory Pensioners After One Year Of Retirement”, “PENCOM Don’t Direct Our 15% And 33% Pension Increase Of CPS Retirees For Management Enjoyment” and ” PENCOM Pay Our Minimum Pension As Approved By The National Assembly”.
The National President, said they have taken up the issue of the delay in payment of their monthly pension/gratuity with government over time, but there has been no appreciable improvement on the issue.
“A situation whereby a pensioner does not have access to monthly pension/gratuity for a whole year is inhuman and inconsiderate to say the least.
“When people retire from work after 35 years and there is still delay in the initial commencements of monthly pension and gratuity to them, at times it takes up to 18 months or 15 months before they are paid for, which you have to wait before something is given to you.
“I assisted in the paper and claim in the paper that the last set of people the federal contributory pensioners paid were in December 2018, so 2019 nothing, talkless of 2020 but then PENCOM would say it is because there is no release from the government side. Why should that be ?”, he said.
On the issue of unpaid 33½% and 15% Salary Arrears, the National President said that it is disturbing and uncomplimentary that members of the union under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have not been paid and the federal institutions responsible are not even bothered.
“Our colleague under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) have since been fully paid, but we haven’t being paid a dime by the time we are given the salary arrears it will boost our salary. We are appealing to both the federal government and PENCOM to give us our due”, he said.
The National President also called on PENCOM and the Federal Government to make public the template used for the computation of terminal benefits of Pensioners under the CPS, saying it is only known to PENCOM which shouldn’t be.
“PENCOM is a federal government institution and public office, so if you have served for 35 years, so under the contributory scheme you are entitled to 80 percent of your terminal benefit as your pension every month”
While speaking on the short- payment of the terminal benefits, the Pensioners said that their employers, NTA, has not updated their 2004 and 2007 pay slips to reflect monetization until around 2013, despite pressure and agitation from the body.
He added, “there is no evidence to show that any nominal roll reflecting update pay slips for 2004 and 2007 was ever forwarded to PENCOM before 2013 (we stand to be corrected). We hereby call for a redress of the short-payment”.
The Pensioners, also urged the Federal Government to revisit the issue of minimum pension guarantee of some Federal Contributory Pensioners.
On the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Pensioners also appealed to the Federal Authority to extend the NHIS scheme to them as beneficiaries, adding that this is the time time they need more intensive care, having toiled and laboured for for the Nation.
When asked on the number of pensioners affected by the issue, Comrade da-Silva said, “I don’t know the exact number of people affected because some people might come forward and some will not, but we will not be more than 2,000”.
Present at the press conference, were; the NATCOPAN State Chairman, Bayo Adeogun, State Vice-Chairman, Oladosu Ademola and the National President, Kayode da-Silva.