By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Kaduna Polytechnic Severed staff, (KPSSA), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Nasir El-Rufai and patriotic Nigerians to prevail on the Accountant General’s office and PTAD to urgently conduct verifications and correct their monthly pension anomalies.
KADUNA POLYTECHNIC SEVERED STAFF PROBLEMS
It will be recalled that about 1000 of us (Junior/Senior staff) were severed in February and May 2008 respectively. It is apoplectic and ravenous to note that 92% of us are downtrodden low income staff from the North, narcissistically oppressed, depressed and denied their rights by some ossified Northerners in positions of authority.
Our salary structure at the time of severance was CONTISS and this was jettisoned during the computation of our entitlements by the polytechnic/BPSR. Our entitlements were paid retrospectively using HATTISS i.e. 2003 salary structure.
Our problem was contrived and nurtured by the Polytechnic Authority and some elements in the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (under Mrs H. Auta).
We have complained to the Polytechnic authority severally, Heads of service, PTAD Executive Secretary, Governor of Kaduna State (EL-Rufai), the Senator Kaduna Central (Shehu Sani), Former Secretaries to the Government of the federation etc. yet our problem lingers on as our complaints seem to be contemptuously overlooked.
We were verified in August 2011 by Kaduna polytechnic, PENCOM and the Bureau of Public service reforms. Our depression was exacerbated by non-payment of the verified figures thereafter to date. The officers from the above establishments were in Kaduna for the exercise, spent up to a week and wasted Government resources as our members till date are receiving half of the verified figures.
As at 2013 we were owed 36 months defective pension arrears by NICON but were paid 15months on 24/01/2014 with a promise by the then rector that the 21 months balance would be paid later. Till date we have not been paid.
It is disheartening that the 33% pension increment was a deliberate miscalculation from the defective monthly pension. Yet we have only been paid 2½ years (33%) arrears out of over 4 years.
Our solace has been the premise that our monthly pension will be rectified when PTAD and the Accountant general’s office conduct their verification miserably, the severed staff of the polytechnic have not been verified by these organizations.
Recently the accountant general’s office publicly invited us to Abuja for verification. The polytechnic authority prevailed on us not to travel because they have invited the Accountant General’s office staff to carry out the verification in Kaduna at the polytechnic expense. Three months have lapsed and we are still waiting.
Our members have reached the nadir of their dolorous depression and over 100 of us have died.
The so-called Pension Union (self-Appointed Exco) are Kaduna Polytechnic contractors who are not interested in our case because they are not affected. The polytechnic has sustained the superannuated union EXCO despite the fact that the severance pensioners constitute 80% (twice the size) of the polytechnic pensioners under the old scheme.
ü We supplicate that all patriotic, humanitarian, altruistic Nigerians, the president Buhari, the Governor of Kaduna state should prevail on the Accountant General’s office and PTAD to conduct their verifications and correct the monthly pension anomalies urgently.
ü We want our rightful accurate monthly pensions paid
ü We plead that all requisite arrears be paid in order to b e a slave to the dolorous agony of our members.
ü We want the current Polytechnic Pension Union Exco dissolved and election conducted to integrate the severed staff pensioners who constitute 80% of the members.
ü We want the EFCC to probe the pension union Account because these crop of self-appointed union EXCO have assumed that position for more than 12 years.
ü The federal government must conduct a tacit verification of the polytechnic staff because in the secret files, substitution of certain age revealing documents with affidavits has become commonplace. Some staff who suppose to have retired and give way to the younger ones are still after putting in up to 10years service is a suspect.
ü We urge the EFCC to thoroughly investigate the polytechnic authorities (Head of departments, Deans, Directors especially the consultancy units, Unit accounting officers, past pension officers, Bursars etc) from 2006 to 2017 before the appointment of the new Rector.
ü Mrs Auta/BPSR has to be investigated by the Federal Government through the EFCC to unravel the protracted corruptive underpayment of the Polytechnic severed staff’s monthly pensions and other entitlements.
Our members are becoming agitated and we are tired of holding them back from embarking on violent demonstration. We therefore urge the Polytechnic Authority to act expeditiously to put a salve to their depression and apoplecticism.
Babatunde S. Ipinyomi
Austin O. Umera