Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Retirees in Delta State on Monday appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to save them from untimely death by paying their pension benefits based on the N18,000 Minimum Wage.
The pensioners under the aegis of the Association of Contributory Retirees (ACR), Delta State chapter, pleaded with well-meaning Nigerians to intervene by urging the state government to pay their pension benefits.
The state ACR chairman, Mr Agbaka Isaiah, who made the appeal while briefing reporters in Asaba, said all pension reform acts expressly stipulate that a worker upon retirement should not earn less than 50 percent of his last salary before retirement.
Represented by the Vice Chairman, Mr Anthony Osanekwu, Agbaka said the current payment based on N7,500 has placed them at a disadvantage.
He said the Association is vehemently opposed to the inclusion of Prof Monye and Dr Kingsley Emu in the committee for pension purposes, calling for the involvement of key stakeholders in the organised labour in the committee
Agbaka stated that retirees have no confidence in Monye and Emu “as we strongly believe that they have selfish conduit pipe ploy/interest in the whole exercise ab initio, more so as their several submitted reports were faulty.
“The constant involvement of these individuals, and setting up of several committees to work with HR, tend to portray an element of government gimmicks of circumventing the payment of N18,000 harmonised pension,” he said.
“It becomes an issue of man’s inhumanity to man, seeing that it is a glaring case of negligence of persons who have slaved all their youthful years to serve and are expected to be regarded as senior citizens, who depend on only their pension to meet with all their domestic challenges.”
Agbaka urged Governor Okowa to involve the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and ACR in the committee, “since they were part of the committee that submitted the acceptable working handy report of the moment.”
He added that the “state government should invite Pension Commission (PENCOM) to the committee as well as the two actuarial valuers, i.e B.A. Adigun and Associate and H.E. Consultancy Services, to defend their reports before PENCOM and the committee so as to adopt the report with the best practices of actuarial valuation, to put an end to this issue of harmonised pension.”