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Defunct PHCN pensioners storm PTAD office, protest unpaid entitlements



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Pensioners of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) on Thursday staged a protest at the Lagos office of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) over their unpaid entitlements.

The pensioners, under the aegis of Concerned PHCN Pensioners, a pressure group, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.

They claimed that issues of non-payment of their entitlements had yet to be addressed in spite of repeated calls on PTAD.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group had in March 2021 staged a protest at the same office over issues relating to the pensioners’ entitlements.

The issues include year 2000 retirees’ short payment of 42 per cent gratuity and monthly pension since the past 22 years; cumulative arrears of harmonisation money unpaid till date; and monetisation of certain entitlements.

They also claim that PHCN pensioners have yet to receive the 33 per cent arrears of pension increment approved during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, among others.

One of the coordinators, Mr Muritala Dunmoye, said that some of their colleagues had died while waiting for payment of the entitlements.

He said that some were bedridden and despondent, with the current economic realities making life more difficult for them.

‘’Over the years, our pension payments started with our defunct organisation before the unbundling that now led to our being taken to Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO).

‘’Now, NELMCO handled our pension for some three years and handed over to PTAD that took over in July 2014 and ever since, our cumulative arrears of entitlements have not been paid.

‘’We have written severally and made presentations; we decided to picket this office the second time: the last time was on March 11, 2021 and now, May 5 over the fact that the issues raised have not been attended to by PTAD.

‘’They have refused to attend to those issues with many of our pensioners dead and the rest of us not able to meet up with our economic responsibilities at home, ‘’ he said.

Efforts by telephone calls and text messages to get the reaction of PTAD through its spokesperson, Mr Ajayi proved abortive.