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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

PHCN pensioners cry out, call for payment of pension arrears

Pensioners of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) under the aegis of Concerned PHCN Pensioners(CPP) yesterday, decried the poor treatment they have been subjected to, in the last couple of years, due to unpaid pending arrears by the government.

The pensioners, most of whom had aged under strenuous financial strain as claimed by them, gathered at their office at Ketu, Lagos, lamenting their plight and grievances, to the Nation newspaper.

Led by the Co-ordinator Comrade T.O. Akintola, the pensioners enumerated their grievances to include among other things, the non-payment of their  harmonization arrears which totalled, N14,306,479,450.47 as at September, their monetization arrears which totalled N7,072,029,674.96, Year 2000 retirees  arrears being N3,037,607,883.08 and electricity rebate N922,178,121.00, all amount owed as at September 2017.

Akintola re called that in a letter dated 5th of September 2017, the group had communicated these same grievances to the Minister of Finance, and signed by the Co-coordinator himself and the Secretary of the group Comrade J.O. Ayodeji. A copy of the said letter which was made available to The Nation newspaper by another member of the group Comrade M. Odiase, chronicled the various demands being made by the Concerned PHCN Pensioners.

Notable among the long list of demands are the request for payment of thirty-three percent pension increase and an objection to a proposed 3 percent deduction from the said expected 33 percent pension increase as canvassed.

The pensioners complained bitterly of not being paid January 2014 to December 2015, while payment of arrears from 1st July 2016 to 31st December 2013 has already been paid to other fellow Nigerian pensioners. An aggrieved Comrade Odiase further lamented that despite the acknowledgement of receipt of the group's letter by the Hon. Minister of Finance, nothing more has been heard from the government.

"What are our sins and offences in serving the nation in a particular Federal Parastatal with our youthful blood and now that our bodies are weak and frail, we will be discarded and published?" Odiase asked pathetically.


Concluding on behalf of the Concerned PHCN Pensioners, the Co-ordinator of the group Comrade T.O. Akintola, pleaded that the present federal government, should look into their demands and effect changes as more and more of their members, are daily suffering from lack of sustenance even during this harsh economic climate that is presently being experienced in the country.

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