Post Views: 1,907 Nigeria’s National Pension Commission (PenCom) had been on sabbatical while Elder State-Men which it was created to cater for were i...
Nigeria’s National Pension Commission (PenCom) had been on sabbatical while Elder State-Men which it was created to cater for were in pains, despite the facts that The Pencom Acts of 2014 as amended had taken care of some of the shortcomings in that of 2004 and had enriched the powers and privileges of PenCom on the affairs of Contributory Pensioners with their former employers and Pension Managers, yet she (The PenCom) refuses to be proactive in the affairs of Nigeria’s contributory pensioners.
The nonchalant attitudes of PenCom to its mandate has led to series of communication among the Associations of Contributory Pensioners, their former employers (Federal Ministries/Agencies/Divisions), Federal legislators and PenCom, yet the seemingly almighty but truly toothless PenCom has refused to listen/reason or take any positive step to resolve the problems, and instead the management has kept itself incommunicado, daring anyone question it, at a time no Ministry/Department/Agencies has the right to make Pencom account for its responsibilities towards their former employees. The norm is: SUBMIT YOUR PAPERS AND GO, ask no question and commit no sin!
Recently, the Association of Contributory Pensioners of Nigeria held its “1st National Symposium at the Press Centre, Radio House, Garki, Abuja on Monday 23rd October, 2017 and NTA ASSOCIATION OF CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONERS (NTA-ACPEN) mobilized its members and travelled from its headquarters in Lagos as delegates hoping to interface with PenCom leadership or their representatives, who invited to the Symposium.
It was hoped that such opportunity would be utilized to resolve most of the plights of Contributory Pensioners if not all. But regrettably, of all Ministries/Agencies invited, only Pencom failed to show at a forum organized to resolve issues concerning CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONERS OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA- elder Statesmen and good citizens that had served the nation with their youthful vigour, with dignity, loyalty and honour and most especially, which remains the main reason for the creation of Pencom by the Federal Government in year 2004.
SINS OF PENCOM
OPAQUENESS & GROSS SECRECY in the STANDARD or SCALE for PAYMENT of Contributory Pensioners
• As at today, no government ministries/agencies or the Contributory Pensioners themselves know how Pencom arrived at the amount paid to pension fund administrators on behalf of the contributory pensioners.
Whenever, we make enquires on the formula used, we are told by Pencom: “we (Pencom) work on the information provided by your employers,” but we are never told how they (Pencom) arrived at our entitlements.
• None actualization of 33% payment and accrued 15% upward review of payment to Contributory Pensioners,despite the fact that”Old Pension Scheme”(Retirees on or before 30th June,2007) were enjoying all the benefits,despite the fact that no Law/Rules/Regulations says that Contributory Pensioners might not enjoy same.
• Section 173 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria states that “PENSIONERS SHALL BE REVIEWED EVERY FIVE YEARS OR TOGETHER WITH ANY FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE SALARY REVIEW, WHICHEVER IS EARLIER”.
The Upward Review of contributory pensioners payment is still a dream since its commencement/implementation in year 2004; while several of the would-be benefactors (Pensioners) have died.
• Shortchanging on payment of entitlement to contributory pensioners: Despite the fact that some Ministries/Agencies/Departments discovered wrong presentations to Pencom, acknowledged the mistakes, made the necessary corrections, and represented them as required, Pencom refused to act on such corrections. The contributory pensioners have continue their lamentations over such wrong computation of their entitlement and payments.
• There is a LACK OF PROACTIVENESS/CARE for the complaint and observations of Contributory Pensioners on the shortcomings in the system and total lack of interest in the affairs of contributory Pensioners, while several Pensioners are yet to receive their entitlements almost a year after retirement from service etc.
• NONE REPRESENTATION ON THE BOARD OF PENCOM: The law that established PenCom says contributory pensioners SHALL be represented at the board, though Pencom could boast of A Pensioner on their board, but we regret to note that “HE/SHE IS NOT A CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONERS’ REPRESENTATIVE”, therefore not our representative, which was one of the major reasons why PenCom is not proactive to the PLIGHTS of contributory pensioners, because the person said to represent them on its board is neither bothered or concerned. It is only he that wears the shoes knows where it pitches.
• We seriously appeal to The Federal Government of Nigeria to recall Pencom from its sabbatical over the affairs of Contributory Pensioners, because the welfare of all retired civil servants is one of the major responsibilities of government.
• We hereby appeal to members of the National Assembly to extend their oversight functions to the welfare of CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONERS. It may be necessary once again to make necessary amendments to the Pencom Act in view of its many shortcomings as observed.
• Such amendments should be towards making PenCom very alive to its RESPONSIBILITIES as they relate to the affairs and welfare of contributory pensioners, since the task has been taken off the shoulders of the various Federal Government agencies and other private sector organisations as employers of labour.
It is our hope that PenCom would relialize that the Act of 2004 as amended was inadequate and work towards resolving the noted inadequacies in harmony with the Contributory Pensioners Associations.
We hereby appeal that PenCom be made to return from its sabbatical and save the thousands of Contributory Pensioners dying daily after being denied the privilege of enjoying the benefit of their labour.
We also call on all good citizens to come to our aid by rising against the injustice meted to Nigerian Pensioners who are suffering why people feed fat on our entitlements.
It’s our prayers and hope that Contributory Pensioners will not witness another “Injurious Maina-Gate on the affairs of pensioners in Nigeria again,” because the secrecy under which Pencom operates are unexpected and worrisome.
Alhaji Gbadebo Omolaja OLATOKUNBO,
(Chairman, NTA Association of Contributory Pensioners, NTA-ACPEN).