By Jimitota Onoyume
Former workers of defunct Delta Steel Company, DSC, limited, Delta State have pleaded with President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, to intervene over the unpaid 150 per cent and 30 per cent pension increment approved for public pensioners in the country 21 years ago.
Under the aegis of Concerned Pensioners, Delta Steel Company, DSC, limited, Ovwian –Aladja, they contended that they have written several letters of complaints about the unpaid increases to no avail.
According to the pensioners in a petition by Chairman and Secretary of Concerned Pensioners, DSC, limited, Mr. Mukoro Isaac and Obalaye Edijana, respectively, they had been passing through untold hardships and frustration as they could no longer meet their obligations to their immediate families among other responsibilities.
The petition reads in part: “We the Concerned Pensioners, Delta Steel Company Limited, Ovwian – Aladja, hereinafter referred to as “Our Members” wish to bring to your attention unresolved case of non-application by Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate hereinafter referred to as “PTAD” of Federal Government duly approved increase in Pension rates of 150% and 30% to our members during the calculation of our current monthly pension in 2018
“Circular from the Office of Head of the Civil Service of the Federation made it abundantly clear that the increase of both 150% and 30% affect the pensions of only officers who retired from service before or by 31st August 1998.
It is clear that all of our members were all retired from service before or by 31st August 1998 and therefore are entitled to the benefits of the 150% and 30% increase in pension rates in the calculation of our current monthly pension.
“The non-application of the 150% and 30% increase in pension rates to our monthly pension as at 31st August 1998 was directly responsible for the reduction in our monthly pension in 2005 as can be seen from the attached tables. In spite of numerous complaints to PTAD concerning the non-application of the 150% and 30% increase in pension rates in the calculation of our current monthly pension, PTAD had not responded to any of our complaints.
“The inability or failure of PTAD to restore the 150% and 30% increase in pension rates unlawfully withheld from our members is a clear indication that the non-application of these two pension increases to our monthly pension as at 31st August 1998 was not an act of omission but premeditated and intended to deprive our members of the benefits of these two increases in pension.
The non-compliance by PTAD to government circulars on pension rate reviews and S.173 (1-3) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is a violation of our pension rights (see the attached copy of S.173 (1-3) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“We are therefore making a passionate appeal to you to use your good offices to intervene on our behalf and prevail on the Executive Secretary and the Director of Parastatal Department of PTAD to restore the 150% and 30% pension increase rates unlawfully withheld from our members during the calculation our current monthly pension in 2018.”
The pensioners added that the Senate President’s “prompt intervention and restoration of the 150% and 30% of increase Pension rates of our members will allay of fear of the likelihood of fraud and unwholesome practices during the calculation of our current monthly pension by PTAD Management.”