NNPC retirees seek FG’s intervention over 10 years unpaid entitlements
Members of the Retired Staff Association of the NNPC have called on the federal government to come to their rescue over non-payment of their entitlements in the last 10 years.
The retirees expressed their frustration over the development and pleaded with Acting Yemi Osinbajo to ensure payment to save their lives and end the sufferings of those still managing to survive.
The Vice-Chairman of the Lagos State branch of the association, Femi Johnson, said life had been unbearable for most of the 1,200 NNPC pensioners in Lagos and about 12,000 members nationwide as their meager entitlements had not been paid for over a decade.
Earlier in the month, the Federal Government approved the release of N2.7 trillion for the payment of outstanding debts which it owed contractors, pensioners and oil marketers over the last 20 years.
Making the declaration on Wednesday, July 12, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said “the Federal Executive Council approved the Ministry of Finance’s proposed validation process to ensure that beneficiaries were paid through the issuance of liquid promissory notes of 10-year tenure.”
The minister said government was determined to resolve a number of inherited and long outstanding Federal Government’s obligations to contractors, state governments and employees.
Reacting to the approval to pay contractors and oil marketers, NNPC retirees enjoined the Federal Government to also put former employees of the state-run oil company into consideration so as to prevent further premature deaths.
Johnson expressed regret that many had died in frustration while those still living were virtually becoming walking corpses.
“Most of us cannot even take care of medical expenses in orthodox hospitals and now go to take alternative medicines in our old ages with the attendant risks. Many have been chased out by their landlords as they had piled up astronomical rents which they cannot pay. Our children have been sent out of schools and we just can’t make ends meet,” he lamented.
He went further, “Truth is that many of us are now even praying for death as life has become meaningless,’’ he said.
Johnson called on the Acting President to look into the issue, and ensure that the situation was salvaged without further delay.
He explained that since government was magnanimous enough to release money for the payment of contractors and oil marketers, it should extend its milk of human kindness to the NNPC retirees who spent most of their useful lifetime serving the nation, many at the risk of their lives.
Executive Secretary of Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Sharon Ikeazor (left), interacts with a pensioner during a recent verification excercise