By Godwin Oritse & Ifeyinwa Obi

AGGRIEVED retirees of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, in Warri and Lagos have protested  non-payment of their 2006/2007 retirement benefits . The protest which took place recently, crippled ports operations in Lagos and Warri, where the  retirees 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 until the management of NPA addresses 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 Binitie , 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 by the decision of a 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

They also said the NPA management should pay them repatriation allowance as was done in the case of 2008 disengaged employees.”

Meanwhile the management of NPA has assured the retirees of payment of their benefits noting that the welfare of its employees both retired and serving would not be compromised.

Addressing representatives of the 2006/2007 disengaged staff after the protest, Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, represented by the Executive Director Finance and Administration     Mr Olumide Oduntan, expressed commitment to addressing  the plight of the retirees.

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