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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Association of Retired Federal Senior Public Officers of Nigeria (ARFESPON), has urged the federal government to prevail on the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), to pay up the difference in the monthly benefits payable to pensioners before the implementation of minimum wage and the benefits due to them after the implementation of the minimum wage.
The association, wants PTAD to adhere to the computation table drawn by the Salaries and Wages Commission in the payment of their outstanding benefits going forward.
The association, also wants federal government to harmonies pensioners’ benefit by eschewing any form of disparity in payment of pension benefits, noting that for sometime now, the monthly pensions payment which was always paid immediately after the federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting is now paid in the early days of the new mont showing a shift from the former payment period.
ARFESPON President, Olufemi Odewabi, who stated this while addressing the media in Lagos, said it was unfortunate that after a long period of patience exhibited by the pensioners during the agitation for payment of minimum wage, government later decided to pay 18 months out of the outstanding 24 months owed to pensioners but that PTAD, created a differential gap in what it was expected to pay the pensioners as approved by the federal government through the salary computation table released by the Salaries and wages commission.
“Government decided to pay this salary increase by consequential percentages according to grade levels.
“Salaries and wages commission issued out circular for computation of the payment which PTAD in its own wisdom of superiority decided to discard and brought out its own formulated deficit computation which was used to pay the arrears of eighteen months out of the twenty four months owed,” he said.
The ARFESPON president, therefore called on PTAD to pay the different in what it supposed to pay for the 18 months in line with the computation table drawn by the Salaries and Wages Commission and to balance the outstanding six months using the new salary computation table.
Painting a clearer picture of what the pensioners were agitating for, Odewabi, said for instance, in the directorate cadre, the difference between the total payment before the minimum wage and after the minimum wage was about N12000.
“Even some old pensioners in this cadre have less that N10,000 in their total package whereas the normal total package of their entitled domestic servant in grade level03 in this exercise is more than this N12000,” he lamented.
In his appeal to PTAD to normalise the pensioners’ monthly benefits in line with government’s directive, Odewabi said;
“Since the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria approved the table which salaries and wages commission forwarded to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, we are hereby appealing to PTAD to implement this payment henceforth,” he stated.
He further appealed to PTAD to include the harmonisation issue in the correction to be made.
He said the association acknowledged the good gestures of the president in fulfilling his promise to make pensioners smile despite the situation in the country and urged PTAD to make all the combined efforts to succeed in all ramifications.