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Prisons pensioners appeal to Presidency

By Boluwaji Obahopo

LOKOJA – Members of Retired Paramilitary Officers Association, RPOA, Kogi West chapter have appealed to the presidency, the Controller General of Prisons and authorities of Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, to pay them their approved retirement pension and other benefits due them.

The pensioners who retired from Nigeria Prisons Service in 2005/2006, said despite funds made available by President Muhammadu Buhari  to defray the arrears after the submission of the verification exercise report, which confirmed their claims, PTAD is yet to pay them their entitlements.

They averred that the development has turned them useless as they could no longer cater for their responsibilities.

Spokesperson of RPOA, Kogi State, DSP Stephen Bebeyi (rtd) who made this known to newsmen yesterday after a meeting of members in Kabba, Kogi State revealed that they are yet to receive their servant allowance which was approved since 2003 before their retirement in 2005/2006.

According to them, “We barely enjoyed the servant allowance for just a year and have subsequently been denied same since January,2007 till date. All efforts made with former Director of Customs, Immigration and Prisons Department (CIPD), Rasheed Mina, to ensure payment of benefits along with our gratitude or monthly pension have not yielded results even when it was displayed in our last pay certificate.”

While revealing that claims by Pension Transferred Arrangement Department (PTAD) that they had been paid was totally untrue, he said that former CG of Prisons, Olushola Ogundipe, only made discriminate payment of one or two years to some of them instead of the expected five years arrears.

Other unpaid benefits by PTAD, according to the pensioners, include the approved 53 percent monthly pension increment by late President Umar Yar’Adua, the approved five years harmonised pensioners allowance by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the approved July 1999 CONPASS salary scale.

“We reiterate our appeal that concerned authorities should come to our rescue as we have not been placed on CONPASS even when some of us were forcefully retired on downsizing.”

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