August 14, 2020

DSC pensioners threaten protest over unpaid 9 years pension arrears

Delta Steel Company. (Inset) A pensioner of the company protesting unpaid pensions and death of colleagues

By Paul Olayemi

Pensioners who worked in Delta Steel Company, DSC, Delta State has threatened to take to the street to protest non-payment of the 9 years pension arrears and what they themed “unjust underpayment” by Pension Transition and Administration Department PTAD.

The pensioners under the ages of Association of Iron and Steel Retired Staff of Nigeria, DSC branch in a petition to Hon Francis Ejiroghene Waive, Member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu Federal Constituency in the House of Representative decried the poor treatment melted out to DSC pensioners by the Federal government.

In the petition signed by Oserohwovo Thomas, Branch Chairman and Okpeh Okari, Secretary, they disclosed that at least five pensioners die on a weekly basis because they cannot afford basic food, let alone being able to buy drugs when they fail sick.

The called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency commence the payments of their 9 years arrears and also put machinery in place to harmonized the pension benefits of DSC retirees with those of Ajaokuta Company, Itakpe, Jos, Oshogbo, Katsina Rolling Mills, NMDC, MTI and Onitsha NIOMCO.

According to them; “DSC pensioners worked under temperatures of 1500-1700 degree centigrade to produce Steel products and following the constant exposure over the years is today manifesting negatively on the health of the pensioners.

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“Some of our pensioners receive as low as N2, 000 as pension per month, while those in level 14 officer, that is like an assistant director in the ministry will be earning a pension of N16,000 per month, and this is due largely by wrong computation by PTAD.

The President Steel Town Community, Udu, Delta State, Mr Simeon Segba speaking to newsmen after a meeting with Hon Waive, called for stakeholders meeting between them, PTAD, the Head of Service, Salary and Wages Commission, Ministry power.

“We are not asking for what is not our right, we are asking for what is our right, and we have the documents to that effect, the submission I gave to Hon. Francis Waive, all the documents are attached and the day they call for that important meeting it will be better for all of us.

“If the National Assembly will not intervene, the President will not intervene, we will be forced to call out over 20,000 residents in that town to come out, we are not afraid, I am old enough, I am about 70,I am old enough because even if you want to detain me because I am asking for the right of my people, I am not afraid, so the right thing should be done, we need this arrear and in that meeting, if we present all our case before the parties, they will see the truth and let them do what is right, that all we are asking for, we are not violent.”

Meanwhile, Hon Francis Waive commended for taking the path of dialogue, urged them to remain calm and peaceful assuring them that he will take up their case to appropriate authorities and ensure that their concerns are addressed.

Vanguard News Nigeria