THE Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has in line with the demand of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) extended its plan to remove the names of 23,089 parastatals’ pensioners from the Federal Government’s pension payroll till the end of October, this year.
The NUP disclosed this, even as it called on the Acting Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Ekpo Nta, to expedite action on the review of pension in relation to the new national minimum wage agreed and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in April last year.
Specifically, the NUP appealed to the NSIWC to submit the already approved templates and consequential adjustments by the board of the commission to President Buhari, adding that the delay in transmitting the report to the President since approved by the NSIWC board cannot be justified, and the pensioners were not happy with the delay.
In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the General Secretary of NUP, Elder Actor Zal, the union revealed that PTAD has finally listened to its request to extend the time it intended to remove the names of the 23,089 pensioners from the government pension payroll from August to October.
To this end, the NUP called on the pensioners at home and abroad to check their records and put it right with PTAD, using all the available channels provided.
PTAD had in a letter written to the NUP in early August informed the union of the decision to remove names of parastatals pensioners that did not undergo verification from the government pension payroll.
But in its reaction, the NUP expressed shock at the staggering figure of 23,089 pensioners about to be yanked off the payroll for various reasons; and called for more awareness and extension of time to ensure that their facts and records were correct.
However, the NUP General Secretary said in the statement: “PTAD has acceded to our request that they will not remove the names of pensioners until the end of October. They have extended the time for about three months. PTAD took the decision owing to the agitation by NUP, hence it advised NUP to ensure that all pensioners know that it has been extended by three months and whoever has not done verification has up till October ending to perfect his/her records; if not they would remove the names.
“What NUP demanded for then was to give them enough notice and they have given further time now till October ending before they would remove them on the list.”
On the lingering issue of pension review as a result of the new minimum wage that came into existence last year April, the union stated that the Implementation Committee on Pension Review set up by the NSIWC has already submitted its report to the board of the commission and the board had since approved it.
Elder Zal said: “It (the report) has been approved and submitted by the NSIWC board for onward transmission to President Buhari. But the Commission has not taken it to Mr. President for action. We don’t know what is delaying it but I can tell you that the pensioners are not happy with this delay. So, we want the Salaries and Wages Commission to expedite action on it and forward it to Mr. President for action immediately.”
The NUP also commended the Federal Government, especially the Ministry of Finance for the recent release of money to pay the Nigerian Airways pensioners.
The General Secretary said: “The Ministry of Finance released money for the payment of Nigerian Airways pensioners; and we want to also thank the Federal Government for making the release for the payment of the Nigerian Airways pensioners. This will definitely go a long way to help the pensioners and their family in the face of the very hard economic situation in the country.”
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