ON behalf of all the pensioners of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), I salute your courage and determination to reshape our nation by clearing the Augean stable of corruption.
The kernel of this letter is the plight of NEPA/PHCN pensioners. We are being denied the payment of our legitimate entitlements and arrears, having served Nigeria meritoriously for at least 35 years before retiring from the public service.
During our time, there was total commitment to duties. Any private practice, however little, was termed “divided loyalty to the nation”. It carried the stiff penalty of dismissal from service without any benefits.
We, the old brigade, invariably retired without anything to fall upon, except our stipends. Most of us passed through dangerous terrains and many died in the course of duty.
To our surprise, Your Excellency, those of us alive are owed entitlements and various pension arrears till date.
An enumeration of what the Federal Government owes us is as follows: Arrears of (120 per cent), pension increment, arrears of salary harmonisation; arrears of electricity rebates, implementation of 33 per cent pension increment since 2010, plus the arrears and payment of entitlement up to year 2000 for restructured staff.
Many have died due to lack of money to cater for themselves in retirement. A few years back, the Federal Government sold the electricity industry to private investors.
The young ones who we brought on board to keep the sector going were paid off in millions of naira as a result of privatisation. We the old pensioners are wallowing in penury.
Your Excellency, we make this appeal to you requesting for your presidential order to those in positions of authority over our entitlements which are enumerated above for payment without further delay.
We are entitled to a good life in our old age, having done our best since the days of the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN). An estimate sum of about N50 billion will surely settle all the bills for NEPA/PHCN pensioners nationwide.
This is nothing to compare with the several hundreds of billions of naira voted by the Federal Government to pay-off existing staff, to enhance privatisation of the electricity sector.
The biometric exercise should be expedited to ensure Authenticity of NEPA/PHCN pensioners.
Sir, let it not surprise you to hear that there are NEPA pensioners who earn just about N30,000 stipend a month, in spite of the pension-increments to date. Mr. President Sir, try to initiate a social welfare scheme for the aged, from 70 years and above as this nation does not belong to politicians alone.
- Anjorin Babafemi
Ibadan, Oyo State.