THE Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, will meet with its 2006/2007 retirees on October 24, to resolve contentious issues in its Defined Benefit Pension Scheme, DPS.
The scheme takes care of retirees whose benefits have not been fully paid by NPA.
NPA General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Iheanacho Ebubeogwu, said the management and the retirees had agreed to meet to resolve the contentious issues on the said date. Ebubeogwu said that the NPA management had written to the Federal Government of its intention to include the retirees in its pension scheme.
Mr Charles Binitie, chairman of the retirees’ group, while confirming the date, said the meeting was important because the retirees were facing a lot of hardship.
Binitie said that most of the retirees had not received any benefit since they retired.
It could be recalled that the aggrieved retirees in Warri and Lagos protested non-payment of their rbenefits and crippled activities at the ports where they barricaded the gates to the ports, lamenting that they had been suffering since retirement in 2006.
They claimed that series of petitions to the management of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA had not yielded results.
The National Chairman of the 2006\2007 retired staff of the agency, Mr Charles Ayo Binitie, who who spoke on the plight of the retirees in Lagos, explained that the protests would continue until the management of NPA address their request.
He said the pensioners would form a human barricade along the ports access road in a bid to stop evacuation of cargo from the port.
Mr Binities, said the same action would be replicated in Onne port, Warri Port and Calabar port, declaring that that they were denied benefits by the NPA through the presidential task force.
“For the purpose of prosperity, what shall we tell our children and those to come that we worked in NPA for 10 to 35 years and the Presidential Task Force denied us our pension” he lamented.
The pensioners said they were entitled to pension for life because they fell in the old pension scheme, especially the Federal Government circular of 3rd, August, 2009, stressing ‘We are demanding the 10 per cent gratuity and pension as compensation for premature retirement. We are also demanding for one year salary as compensation for those disengaged employees who did not complete the minimum qualifying period for gratuity and pension”, the pensioners declared.