Workers task President Buhari to prioritise pension payments

Some Federal Government workers have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give priority to timely payment of pensions and gratuities to retirees.

The workers made the plea in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Lagos, on Monday, at the pre- retirement workshop organised by National Pension Commission (PenCom) for workers due to retire in 2020.

They noted that retirees are being made to wait endlessly before receiving their benefits despite serving their fatherland for more than 30 years.

One of the workers, Mr Olusegun Oga, a a staff of Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos, told NAN that the delay in settling retirees’ gratuities and pensions had brought discomfort to many retired workers and their families.

“Most times, retirees find it difficult to make ends meet after retirement, this happen because of the long period awaited for gratuities and pensions payments.

” President Buhari must ensure that retirees get there benefits a month after retirement.

“A federal government worker should be paid like workers in the private sector that access their gratuities immediately after retirement,” he said.

Mr Olufela Fashoro, an Assistant Editor- in-Chief in NAN, also urged the government to fast track the payment process, as doing so would ease the hardships retirees go through and make them live long.

Another worker set for retirement, Mr Ime Abakada, commended PenCom for organising the workshop, but said it must improve on the payment process.

” The workshop is a good thing, it has created a lot of awareness for us, but the government should improve on pension payments process,” he said.

Mrs Ekanem Aikhomu, Head, Benefit and Insurance Department, PenCom, while reacting to the pleas said the commission had written to President Buhari on the payment of all accrued pensions.

Aikhomu said the President, thorough the Ministry of Finance is working hard to ensure that retirees’ plight come to an end.

“For instance, the amount we budgeted in 2019 to clear Accrued Pension of Retirees was not reduced, unlike the previous ones.

” Though, we won’t disclose the amount, but all we are waiting for is cash backing,” she said.

The Head,  Corporate Communications,  PenCom, Mr Peter Aghahowa further said the Commission will not relent in making the country’s pension landscape at par with developed countries.

He said the Commission’s commitment to all citizens was one major reason it developed micro pension scheme to attract informal sector workers into the new pension scheme.

NAN reports that the workshop was to prepare the participants on a hitch free life after retirement.