NNPC re­tirees seek FG’s in­ter­ven­tion over 10 years un­paid en­ti­tle­ments

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Fran­cis Arinze Iloani

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

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