Pensioners of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday protested at the NPA Headquarters in Marina, Lagos, against the irregular increment in their pensions since 2008.
The pensioners under the aegis of NPA Pensioners’ Welfare Association told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the protest became necessary after several attempts to meet the management over the matter failed.
The President of the association, Mr Charles Binitie, told NAN that the pensioners would not call off the protest should the management decline to meet with them over the matter.
NAN reports that the over 100 pensioners carried various placards that read, “Your Pensioners Want to Dialogue with You”; “Let’s Discuss Our Pension”, “Allah Ya Yisa NPA,” among others.
According to Binitie, we have been on the matter since 2008 but the management will not meet or discuss with us on the issue.
Binitie said that all the association members belonged to the old pension act, which compelled the management of NPA to care for them till death.
“It is our constitutional right because the constitution stated that whenever there was an increase in the staff salary, it should also reflect in pensions being paid to the retired staff, but this has not been so.
“The salaries of NPA staff have been increased many times between 2005 and 2017 but such increments have not reflected in our pensions.
“The NPA management has been denying us our rights since 2008 and all we are asking for is to dialogue with them but they are refusing to dialogue with us,” he said.
Binitie said that the association had written several letters to the management.
He added that the association also wrote to the Minister of Transportation who told the management to look into the issue but to no avail.
According to him, the association dragged the management before National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, which appealed to NPA to settle the contentious matters, which also failed.
He said the workers were shocked on Wednesday when no senior or low management staff attended to them during the protest.
He said that they had vowed that the protest would continue until the management called them for discussion.
“If the management had gone for an official assignment out of the premises as we were told, a staff member was supposed to have attended to us.
“All we want from the management is to protect us and dialogue with us over our rights and benefits because prices have tripled since we retired. Most of us received as little as N15,000 as pension monthly,” Binitie said.
Efforts by NAN to meet the management for comment was unsuccessful as the members of the senior management staff were said to be at a meeting outside the headquarters.