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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Pay Retired Electricity Workers’ N25bn Pension Arrears, NUP tells FG

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The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP has demanded the payment of N25.3 billion pension arrears being owed by the Federal Government for retired electricity workers

It stated that the arrears comprised N14.5b harmonization, N7.5b monetization, N3b for the year 2000 retirees, and N972 million rebate allowance.

Disclosing this at the end of a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the Chairman, All Sectoral Units, and Parastatals of the NUP, Mr Alex Abu, said only 30 per cent of the power sector retirees had received the harmonized pension.

On the monetization arrears, Abu explained that since the monetization policy was approved in 2009, it was not factored into the final emoluments of workers who retired between 2003 and 2009.

He said, “On August 31, 2000, about 4,000 employees were restructured and they were not served letters terminating their appointments until after 15 days, precisely on the 15th of August. They worked extra 15 days and are supposed to have been paid for the 15 days but were not.”

“The rules and regulations of Power Holding Company of Nigeria as at the time of termination stipulates that any employee retired prematurely, in this case, restructuring, shall be awarded 10 per cent on both gratuity and pension of affected employees. The unpaid 15 extra working days and the non-inclusion of 10 per cent award in the gratuities and pensions of the 4,000 restructured employees make up the N3b outstanding payment,” Abu explained.

Meanwhile, the NUP has appealed to the National Incomes, Salaries and Wages Commission to forward its recommendations on the review of pensions in line with the last consequential adjustments to workers’ salaries to the President for approval.

The union in a communique issued at the end of its meeting and signed by Abu frowned on the registration of another trade union by the Minister of Labour and Employee, Dr Chris Ngige, “in contravention of the extant labour laws and in utter disregard for the interests of all civil and para-military pensioners in Nigeria, including all other parastatals.”

The statement said the minister’s action was against the wishes of the majority of members of parastatals pensioners.

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