…Says Agency Operates Two Pension Structures
…As Pension Board Fails To Meet For Over Two Years
The National Chairman, Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association (FEPPPAN) NAMA branch,Engr.Kester Omotayo has stated that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency’s(NAMA’s) indebtedness to pensioners has accumulated to over N1 billion.
He disclosed this while speaking at the national delegate conference held in Lagos at the weekend.
Omotayo said that the group has submitted a fool -proof tabulated analysis to NAMA management on the issue for over a year but that action was not taken,adding that instead of addressing the matter,,NAMA management took offence and allegedly decided to delay and suppress FEPPPAN’s submissions on the issue since 2017.
The National Chairman added that pensioners suspect that NAMA is operating two pension structures to deliberately cover or attempt to cover up sharp practices in the pension division of the Human Resources Department of the agency.
The Chairman further stated that in 2017,pensioners requested for the structure with which their pension were being paid but that they were not only denied but we’re also told that the structure was a ‘classified document ‘
Speaking further, the Chairman said that the body has been writing against short payment of its monthly pension which according to him has been lingering for over 10years due to ignorance, inefficiency and corruption .
“For avoidance of doubt NAMA pensions have been altered to the detriment of the pensioners against the provisions of Section 173(2) of the Constitution. The case started with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) returnee pensioners to NAMA in 2005 as the pension increase effective from 2003 was implemented. Also NAMA pension was not fully harmonized in 2007-2011as directed. These disparities led to erroneous computation and persistent shortfall recurring till date,” Omotayo said.
The issue,the Chairman stated that had been reported to NAMA Pensions Board of Trustees for over two years and that nothing was done on it.
The same board, he said has also failed to render statement of account to the current Board since its inception but that the previous Board Accountant renders account regularly on quarterly basis.
On means of identification, Omotayo lamented that contrary to the law and extant rules, majority of the pensioners in NAMA goes about without any meaningful means of identification,adding that all efforts by FEPPPAN to secure identity cards for members were frustrated.
This, he posited goes to demonstrate the disdain to which NAMA pensioners are treated.
The National Chairman’s position was further corroborated by the former General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Olayinka Abioye.
Abioye, who is also a NAMA pensioner, accused the agency of shortchanging pensioners who have served the agency in particular and Nigeria in general meritoriously after 35 years of service or after clocking the age of 60.
He alleged that he suspected that a big fraud was going on as it concerns the pensions of pensioners in NAMA, wondering why the agency should have two pension structures.
According to Abioye, “Pension funds in NAMA has been mismanaged. The Pension Unit in NAMA has been evading meetings with FEPPPAN for reasons best known to them.We have done comparative analysis to show what our colleagues in FAAN are earning as pension and presented to them but NAMA pleaded that it cannot pay what it owe pensioners “
He stated that FEPPPAN would not relent in its efforts at ensuring that its members were paid what is constitutionally due to them by NAMA. “
He said that FEPPPAN has not taken the matter outside the agency because the body wanted it resolved internally ,adding that the body would expose the alleged pension fraud in NAMA if the agency continue to dilly-dally over the matter.
“It is the constitutional right of pensioners to collect their pension having served meritoriously ,” Abioye said.