…Expresses apprehension next President may not prioritize pension payment
Pensioners, under the umbrella body of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN), have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to sponsor an executive bill to the National Assembly to make payment of pensions a first line charge in the annual budgets of the country.
The appeal, the pensioners said was because of their apprehensions that “the monumental sanity being witnessed and the unprecedented fraud – free pension regime of his administration may suffer setback if the next President unfortunately treat pension payment as a lesser priority.”
FEPPPAN further urged President Buhari to immortalise himself in the heart and life of Nigerian pensioners and their families by constitutionalising pension payment as a first line charge before he exists office. The Pensioners’ union added that the fate and lives of pensioners after President Buhari’s administration is hanging a on trade and that their only saving grace is constitutionalisation of payment of pensions as a first line charge through the National Assembly, by Mr President.
Contained in its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting communique jointly signed by its President-General, General Secretary and National P.R.O, Chief (Dr) Tempe Ubani JP, Mr. Franklin Enrile, and Mr Jonathan Iyoo, respectively, FEPPPAN said; “NEC- In – session commended President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR, for making Pensioners welfare a top priority and ensuring regular approval of funds for monthly payment of Federal Pensioners’ pensions.
“NEC also salutes the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed CON, for regular and prompt release of funds for monthly payment of our members’ pensions. NEC in -session equally acknowledge Dr. Mrs. Chioma Nnenna Ejikeme, the Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate PTAD, for her proactive, diligent and expeditious payment of the monthly pensions and some other outstanding retirement benefits of Defined Benefits Scheme DBS Pensioners when funds are released.”
Furthermore, the communique said; “FEPPPAN NEC in – session noted with grave concerns PTAD’S protracted delays to obey and failure to implement the provisions of the Trade Unions Act, Regarding the Automatic Deduction at Source, of Check off Dues from our members and Remit to FEPPPAN, as a Registered and Reorganised Trade Union.
“The NEC in session noted that in spite of the fact that the Hon. Minister of Labour and Enployment had repeatedly advised ptad according, the Directorate is yet to act accordingly.”
On the challenges of its private sector members, the communique said; “NEC in- session painfully noted that our members of the private sector organisations and some of the non-Treasury government agencies are yet to benefit from the Consequential Adjustments already enjoyed by their Treasury Funded counterparts. Some of them include: UNITED BANKS FOR AFRICA UBA; FISRT BANK FBN; UNION BANK OF NIGERIA UBN etc
“NEC therefore called on the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission NSIWC to urgently intervene and arrange meetings of these organisations, their Pensioners and FEPPPAN leadership to amicably resolve the issues without further delays. This call serves as NOTCE to parties that FEPPPAN shall not hesitate to mobilise it’s members nationwide for Mass actions against these and other defaulting Agencies forthwith.
On harmonisation, FEPPPAN call on the Committee handling the issue of pension harmonisation to expedite actions and conclude their assignments before the expiration of President Buhari’s administration.
The communique also gave the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) pensioners’ union leadership till end of December to fully migrate its members to FEPPPAN, warning that it will not hesitate to accept the application of the majority of FAAN pensioners who have declared their allegiance to FEPPPAN.