Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) workers who were retired in 2006 and 2007 as a result of the Federal Government’s port reform exercise have urged NPA management to revisit the case of its sacked technical trainees. This was even as they commended the NPA Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi for alleviating their sufferings by enrolling them into the organisation’s regular pension scheme.
Speaking on Friday in Lagos at an event tagged ‘Liberation Day Celebration’ to commemorate their re-absorption into the pension scheme, Chairman of the pensioners, Charles Binitie pleaded with the management to re-absolve the technicians into full service.
“We pray that you revisit the case of our young talented technical trainees that completed their training for reabsorption. They are still young and Nigerian Ports Authority has spent so much resources on them,” he said.
On the ‘Liberation Day Celebration’, Binite said, “We wanted to be on pension payroll of the authority which was our normal right, it has been granted. Secondly, 10 percent increment compensation for premature retirement, which we asked for, was also given to us.
“What is left now is our arrears after the completion of the five year guarantee pension till the date the pension was approved, though management has approved it in principle but we are waiting for the implementation which we know will be done soon.
“Also, the arrears before the approval which they have agreed to spread on three years basis is what we are waiting for so before the expiration of six months arrears, we urge the management to speed up action and start the payment of that arrears which has been outstanding because the government has approved them.”
He further appealed to the Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi and his team to facilitate payment of the retired workers’ “other outstanding pension arrears in like maner until it all terminates.”
The retired workers, numbering about 5,000 were retired prematurely to trim down the workforce of the NPA. Instead of gratuity and pension, they were paid severance benefits.
However in December 2013, Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu, directed the Ministry of Transport to pay the retired workers their full benefits and enroll them into the NPA pension scheme.
In a letter with reference number BD/2000/252/T2/160/124 dated 25th October 2006, addressed to the Minister of Transport with Director Human Resources Management (HRM), Oqua E. Eta in attention, Okogu stated: “the mode of exit from Service for those who were severed did not make any difference in respect to their terminal benefits. Therefore, they should be enrolled for monthly pension when due just like their counterparts who exited service normally.”
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