From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Retirees in the energy sector have pulled out of their apex welfare, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), over alleged failure by the union to abide by the provisions of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in June 2006.
The energy sector retirees are peeved by NUP’s alleged arbitrarily increasing check-off dues from 10 per cent to 35 per cent which, they insisted, was in violation of the provisions of the MoU of 2006.
President of energy sector retirees, Chief Temple Ubani, told journalists in Asaba, the Delta State capital, at the end of an emergency delegates’ conference, that they were directed to remit 10% of the check-off dues.
“Under the new MoU of 2006, we were directed to remmit 10% of our check-off dues to the headquarters of the NUP which we carried out religiously, but in 2015 they insisted that it must be 35% violating the MoU,” he said.
The conference, which was attended by chairmen and secretaries of over 66 chapters, also proposed a new name for energy sector retirees as Electricity Sector Retirees Welfare Association of Nigeria (ESREWAN).
In a communiqué, the retirees mandated the national leadership to take urgent steps to register the name with the appropriate authorities.
According to communiqué, energy sector was an independent body known as the NEPA Pensioners Union, prior to its affiliation to the NUP in June, 2006.
It alleged that the NUP had become insensitive to the welfare of members of the sector, especially in the face of the privatisation of the power sector, adding that the apex union failed to assist in the in the implementation of the 33% pension increase which has accumulated in arrears of over N35 billion.
It also accused the NUP of hijacking its elections and causing crisis by meddling with its affairs, which informed the ratification of the expulsion of the former National Secretary of the sector, Mr. Olukayode Ogunbiyi by delegates at the emergency conference over allegation of gross anti-union activities.
The communiqué which was signed by the sector president, and the deputy presidents of the six geopolitical zones of the country, vehemently rejected the purported suspension of Ubani and Benjamin Amako as president and treasurer of the sector, describing it as unconstitutional and a total disregard to the pending suit in the Kaduna High Court.
While declaring absolute loyalty, support and implicit confidence in the executive, the conference also commended the patriotism of Comrade P.I. Ogedengbe, Deputy President, South-West for rejecting an offer by the NUP to assume the position of Acting President as a way of disrupting activities of the Electricity Sector.