Some retirees of the defunct Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (NITEL) have expressed happiness over ongoing verification by the Federal Government aimed at restoring their pension benefits.
Newsmen report that NITEL retirees residing within the South-South geopolitical zone are undertaking the exercise handled by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) at the Port Harcourt data centre.
Newsmen further reports that the exercise brought some hundreds of NITEL retirees together at the centre.
The Chairman, NITEL Retirees Association in Edo, Mr Samuel Isireaojie, said that the move to create a pension data base for the retirees was a welcome development.
“It is to us, very cheering news, that after a long time, we have been remembered. It shows that efforts are now in place to ensure we are paid.
“Like we all say, every labourer is entitled to their reward; as retirees, we are entitled to our pensions. We commend the government for this step,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Samuel Oriri, who retired as NITEL’s South-East Zonal General Manager thanked the federal government for the initiative.
“This has rekindled our hope, a lot of us who felt abandoned after service, now think differently. This verification is a good omen,’’ he said.
Oriri commended officials of PTAD for the orderliness with which they undertook the exercise, saying “it shows that things can work in Nigeria’’.
A PTAD officer, who pleaded anonymity, said that the verification was in three stages such as document review, digitisation and quality assurance.
Newsmen report that the exercise, which targets about 22,000 persons nationwide, is for former NITEL staff who retired before June 2007.