NPA clears air on disengaged workers’ entitlement

The Assistant General Manager (AGM), Corporate and Strategic Communications, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ibrahim Nasiru, at the weekend, debunked claims by some retirees of the authority over the non-payment of their severance packages.

Nasiru explained that the May 2008 rationalisation was  based on the Public Service Reform guidelines.

He recalled that the NPA began the policy implementation on July 1, 2008.

In a statement, Nasiru explained that those affected by the exercise were not entitled to monetisation and enhanced staff allowances.

He further said the arrears paid to the affected workers were an error.

“Agitation from the two house unions for payment of arrears on monetisation based on the January approval date, resulted in the agreement to pay arrears of three months to employees from April to June, 2008, hence the two months’ arrears which was paid to them after their exit,” he said.

Nasiru listed the entitlement paid to the workers to include: three months’ salary in lieu based on their salaries at the time of disengagement; gratuity, calculated in line with their salary at the date of exi; 10 percent pension and gratuity as provided for in the Pension Act (Decree 102 of 1979).

Other benefits, he added, were pension contribution remittance to their RSA; accrued pension right remitted to their PFA/RSA. The approved template by the Bureau of Public Service Reform and Federal Ministry of Transport was used for  payment.

The statement also said to address the matter, a 200 percent of one-year total emolument amounting to N770,386,586.22 was approved to be paid to the 530 people affected by the exercise.

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On October 11, 2013, a joint Communique was reached on the final payment to the 2008 disengaged employees. It was resolved that the issues raised about pension, gratuity and repatriation had been addressed and final figures for payment to the 2008 disengaged employees as agreed to  N753,731,001.24 for the final list of 517 people.

Nasiru explained that this constitutes the final payment to the disengaged employees.

Besides, he said a letter of indemnity was signed by the disengaged workers before they were paid.

“This arrangement was effected in December 2013. There was no distortion of the content of the Joint Communique as alleged, the signing was done openly and transparently. Some of the executives of the group were signatories.

‘’It should also be noted that the Pension Reforms Act of 2004 which became fully effective fro July 3, 2007 affected those who left service thereafter. The enrolled with different Pension Fund Administrators where their accrued/contributory pension deductions had been paid and accessed by them. They exited in May 2008, four years after the implementation of the new pension Act, 2004 and one year after the expiration of three years grace period given to those who had three years and below to retirement on the old scheme,” Nasiru explained.

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