ByÂ Godwin Oritse
THE Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has refused to pay its retirees their approved increment in pensions despite several directives from both the Senate Committee on Marine and House Representative Committee on Transport.
Speaking to Vanguard in Lagos, the President of the Pension Welfare Association of the NPA Mr. Oweibena Atie said that the management has not been up to date with payment of some approved increment in pension payment.
He stated that the Association has done everything within its power to persuade NPAâ€™s management to pay enhanced pension to retirees without success.
Atie explained that when the group saw that it was not making any head way with management, retirees then decided to take its case to the National Assembly, adding that both Senate Committee led by Senator Gbemisola Saraki and House Committee on Pension were aware of the issue.
In a letter sent to the Chairman House Committee on Pension, the retirees alleged that management has refused to obey the instruction of the Honourable Committee to pay pensioners their dues.
Part of the letter reads; â€œPlease be informed that the NPA management headed by the Managing Director Abdulsalam Mohammed have bluntly refused to carry out your honourable Committeeâ€™s instruction to pay NPA pensioners the eight years arrears of the Federal Government award of 30% (1/1/2000-31/12/2007) till date.
â€œIt should be recalled that on the 19th of May 2010 in honour to your invitation, your honourable Committee intervened between NPA Management and our Association.
â€œIn that meeting, you instructed NPA Management to go back and pay the legitimate entitlements of NPA pensioners within the next one month with effect from from 19th of May 2010.
â€œWe have made approaches to NPA Management with a view to getting them to comply with your instruction but NPA continues to give excuses on why they could not have a meeting on the modalities for the payment.
â€œIt is our intention therefore that you should be aware of this disobedience by the NPA Management and we wish to be advised on what next line of action we should take in the circumstanceâ€.
In a similar letter to the Senate Committee on Marine Transport titled â€˜Non-implementation of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport directive to NPA Management, the retirees noted that the authority has suddenly become a lord to itself.
They stated the time frame given to NPA to respond to the instructions has elapsed and management is not making any move to pay the pensioners.
Part of the letter also reads â€œWe write to express our utter disgust over the refusal of Nigerian Ports Authorityâ€™s Management to implement the directive of your distinguished Committee.
The retirees however appealed to the Committee not to relent in their effort in ensuring the management is made to pay all legitimate fees to its retirees.