“We Receive As Low As N3,000 As Pension” – Protesting NPA Pensioners

Protesting NPA pensioners at the entrance of New Warri Port on Wednesday

By Ovie Okpare

Commercial activities at the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in Warri, Delta State, were on Wednesday temporarily halted following protest by pensioners of the agency over non-increment by the NPA management.

They, however, called on the federal government and the Hadiza Bala Usman-led NPA board to urgently increase their pensions.

The protesters in their hundreds thronged the main entrance of the New Warri Port, saying that some of them received as penson N3,000.

They accused the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman of failing to increase their pensions.

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According to them, they had not been fully paid after their retirement, saying that all efforts to ensure that pensions are consistently paid proved abortive.

The pensioners, who defiled early morning downpour, blocked all entrance into the port complex thereby halting human and vehicular movement in and out of the port.

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 The retirees, who claimed they are in their late 60s and 70s, vowed to continue to occupy the NPA premises until they get satisfactory response from the management of NPA.

Addressing journalists during the protest, the Warri Branch Chairman of the NPA Pensioners, Pastor Benjamin Edremoda disclosed that efforts to get the NPA boss, through other agencies, to implement the relevant increments, have been fruitless.

Edremoda said, “We went to the Federal Ministry of Transport, they referred us to the Salary, Income and Wages Commission, the commission that controls salary of workers across Nigeria. We went there we complained, they said MD should listen and settle us. We didn’t stop there.

“We went to the NPA Board of Trustees, of which the MD is part of. The Board sat, recommended and decided on certain issues, they approved certain things that they didn’t show to us. Till date the management of NPA refused to implement even what the Board approved.

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“We have been so patient since July, but they are turning us around. We have given them several ultimatums. Her saying she does not know us is violating court orders. That is a contempt of court. We want to make her know that we know our rights. We have no option, we can’t fight, you can see the pensioners are old men.”

He added that after months of been tossed here and there, the management suddenly claimed not to “recognize” their leadership, Pastor Charles Binitie, who was authenticated by a Lagos Federal High Court.

Some of the NPA pensioners protesting during Wednesday’s downpour at the entrance of the Warri Port in Delta State.

“We are fighting for what accrues to us that they are not giving to us. We were abruptly retired by NPA. We are pensioners. All that is due to pensioners have not been fully paid to pensioners.

“We have been so patient that the matter even got to court, Lagos Federal High Court decided the issue. NPA is parading some persons as leaders. We made NPA to understand that these people are not representing us. The court has given its ruling, listen to us let’s negotiate, she refused.”

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One of the protesters, Mr. Philip Kogoroh lamented that some of them received as low as N3,000 as pension.

“For more than 15 years, they have not added any increment to pensioners. Some of us receive N3,000, while the new pensioners get N23,000, N30,000. They decide to use divide and rule, raising up some our members, giving them some stipends to fight against us.”


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