Former staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company have condemned the non-payment of their pension 15 years after privatisation of the company.
The staff also lamented the irregularities and corrupt activities by Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate and Bureau of Public Enterprises, the two agencies handling the payment of pension for them.
Some of the affected persons, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the BPE rather than pay all former staff their pension fee, settled some part of their pension fee while many others were yet to receive any fee.
Alademomi Sanmi, General Secretary of the former NAHCO staff forum, revealed that they had suffered psychological and physical trauma due to non-payment of their pension.
He said, “NAHCO have seemingly taken delight in our suffering to the extent of eyeing and targeting pension funds approved by the government for us which in fairness cannot even equate with our overall suffering over the years.
“We are deeply worried at the way and manner the PTAD is paying the said one off pension payment she promised our members. PTAD is paying in piece meals and this calls for great concerns.”
Another affected former staff of NAHCO, who asked not to be named, explained that while they had done verification, PTAD and BPE were employing delay tactics to frustrate the pensioners from receiving their funds.
“NAHCO was privatised in 2005 and the BPE money that was supposed to be given to us, they did not begin to give us until towards the end of 2019.
“To pay the money, we went for verification but they are now paying us peanuts. Some of us were given N29,000 as final pay-off.
“Some of us that spent 28 years in NAHCO received lesser pay. These made us ask what the method and rationality of paying the sum is.
“They asked us to come individually, which we rejected. We want them to pay everybody at once rather than batches that they are doing,” the former said.
The former staff of NAHCO threatened to take action against PTAD if the organisation continued to hold on to their pension.
They also warned against the embezzlement and reduction of their pension funds.
“It is worthy for PTAD to note that money approved for the ex-privatisation staff of NAHCO should under no circumstance find its way into the coffers of any organization under any guise.
“Should that happen, we will collectively fight back and for the first time in history, a precedent will be laid where companies will have to go to PTAD to collect pensions like workers. It will not stop with us.
“We the ex-staff of NAHCO wish to unanimously advise NAHCO's board, management and other vampire forces behind moves to interfere with government approved severance's package for ex staff of the company to withdraw any such move immediately.
“The funds approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria are meant for staff who were in the employ of the company at the time of privatization and most of us, if not all are now ex staff.
“Finally, we strongly and vehemently warn that any attempt to arm twist us with respect to this our entitlement by anyone will be severely resisted within the confines of the law, as we are ready to go to any length legally possible to ensure that justice prevails in this issue,” the former NAHCO staff said.