Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Pensioners under the aegis of Concerned PHCN Pensioners, on Thursday picketed the office of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), over delayed payment of entitlements.
The pensioners in Lagos held placards with inscriptions: “PTAD Pay Our Entitlements Now. Stop Colliding With Our Detractor Within” among others, and chanted the solidarity song.
They also gave a two-week ultimatum to PTAD to start effecting payment of the accrued arrears after which the pensioners would continue to picket the offices across the 36 states of the federation.
The demands include immediate implementation of 42 per cent short payment of year 2000 retirees gratuity and monthly payment till date (2000 to 2021); immediate implementation of 33 per cent increment award based on the confirmation video of immediate past PTADs.
Others include payment of the arrears which follow immediately after implementation in the following month and immediate payment of the accumulated arrears of harmonisation for pre-2003 retirees, among others.
One of the coordinators, Mr Muritala Dumoye, appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in order to save lives of the pensioners.
“So many of our members have died; others are incapacitated; they have health challenges and they do not have enough money to care for themselves.
“The health system in the country is in dire condition and if you are not able to care for yourself, it can be challenging.
“When we were in service, we were receiving electricity rebate, that is, some amount of money for the electricity we used for our different homes; we have some percentage that is due to us.
“Now, when we left, the same still applies to us as pensioners, but all of a sudden in 2012, we stopped receiving it from the payroll; up till this moment that money is still being held.
“We are receiving just a stipend of our pension; we appeal to President Buhari, because he is a listening president, to come to our aid, ” Dumoye said.
Also, Mr Julius Ayodeji, another coordinator, alleged that all accrued benefits with arrears had been sent to the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company, but the pensioners had been denied.
“We appeal to President Buhari, the lover of the senior citizens of Nigeria, who has taken adequate care of the citizens and we want him to come and bail us out, so that this money will be released to us on time,” Ayodeji said.
A call was placed to a Director of Parastatal in PTAD, simply known as Kabiru and text message sent, but no response.
However, an officer who works with PTAD, simply known as Ajayi called the News Agency of Nigeria correspondent and said the management would respond appropriately.
“It will be better for us to understand the group picketing, so that whatever response you get from us will not be out of context,” he said.