Mapoly Retirees Groan Over Payment of Pensions and Gratuities

Retired Staff Members of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta Groan Over Pensions & Gratuities Payment

May 24, 2024 - 16:12
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Mapoly Retirees Groan Over Payment of Pensions and Gratuities

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum chairman led 54 other retirees to the news conference, with the youngest person among them being above 70 years.

Retirees of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, have called for a speedy court process in the suit they instituted against the Ogun Government over inadequate payment of their pensions and gratuities.

The pensioners, under the aegis of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Retirees Forum, made the call at a news conference in Abeokuta on Wednesday

Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Taiwo Otunba, a former Head of Department, Mass Communications, at the Polytechnic told newsmen that the call had become necessary given the alleged injustice they had continued to suffer since their retirement in 2011 over the way their their pensions and gratuities were being paid.

Otunba recalled that the Federal Government had, in 2009, approved CONPCASS and CONTEDIS salary structures for academic and administrative staff members of tertiary institutions, respectively.

He, however, lamented that since their retirement in 2011, Ogun government had continued to pay pensions and gratuities of MAPOLY retirees based on the old CONTIS salary structure.

According to him, the current staffers of the institution are being paid with the CONPCASS/CONTEDIS salary structure, while the retirees are being neglected in retirement after having enjoyed the new structure while in service.

He further stated that the situation was contrary to the national and international pensions law which stipulated that retirees be paid based on their terminal emoluments.

“We have written several letters to the state government to address this issue, all to no avail.

“We, therefore, approached the National Industrial Court in May 2023, but the state government pleaded with the court for an out-of-court settlement, which we agreed to.

“At a tripartite meeting in December 2023, the state government promised to urgently address the issue and commence immediate payment of the arrears while a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed by the parties involved.

“Unfortunately, the state government failed to honour its promise in spite of several reminders, and this has forced us to return to the court.

“While we were preparing to go to court on May 16, the date fixed for the hearing, our lawyer called us that the case had been adjourned till May 20.

“But on getting to the court on May 20, we could not find our lawyer and also discovered that our case was not slated for that day.

“We then called our lawyer from the court and it was then he was telling us that he was sorry that he forgot to inform us that our case had been adjourned till Oct. 2.

“Actually, we are now beginning to suspect that our lawyer has compromised and that he’s no longer straightforward with us,” he said.

The chairman lamented that they were about 60 when they started the struggle in 2011, adding, however, that the number had since reduced, as some of them had died and others bedridden because they could not afford money to get adequate medical attention.

“We want people to be aware of the injustice that Ogun government has meted out to us, having served in MAPOLY meritoriously for an upward of 30 years.

“We are being paid about one-third of what we are supposed to be paid and many of us are close to 80 years, with no other sources of income.

“We want this anomaly to stop, while the arrears of our pensions and gratuities are paid as a matter of urgency,” he said.

"The retirees called on the court to consider their plights and help fas track the process so that they could enjoy the fruits of their labour and not allowed to die like others in the struggle,” he said.

In his reaction, counsel to the retirees, Mr. Lukman Abdullahi, however, denied being compromised in the case, as being insinuated.

Abdullahi wondered why he would comprise in a case that he had been spending his money on.

He, however, said that the retirees were free to withdraw their case file from him if they felt that he had compromised in their case.

When confronted with the allegation, the lawyer said: “Let them collect the case file now. Tell them to come and collect the case file.

“Don’t tell me about what allegation they made. If the council has compromised, won’t they collect their case file?

“I’m spending my money on their case. That I’m compromising on a case I’m spending my money on? Please, say something else, and if they want to take their case file, let them come and take it”

A News Agency of Nigeria report has it that the forum chairman led 54 other retirees to the news conference, with the youngest of them being above 70 years.

SOURCE:NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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