We have fully settled 2008 Disengaged Workers- NPA Boss
We have fully settled 2008 Disengaged Workers- NPA Boss

We have fully settled 2008 Disengaged Workers- NPA Boss

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has settled the embattled 2008
Disengaged Workers that the organization was not prepared to go into
further discussion over unsettled benefits, stressing that negotiations
ended with the payment of ₦753,731,001.24

The issues raised about Pension, Gratuity and Repatriation have been
addressed and final figures for payment to 2008 disengaged employees as
agreed to the tune of ₦753,731,001.24 for the final list of 517,  the
Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman said, in a statement made available to
our reporter by the Assistant General Manager,  Corporate & Strategic
Communications, Mr. I.S. Nasiru.

The NPA Boss debunked allegations of deliberate refusal to pay
miscellaneous benefits in full to the over 500 agrieved ex-workers, and
frowned at media reports which attempted to label the authority’s position
as outright insensitivity.

Therefore, management wishes to state categorically and unequivocally that
the information is capable of derailing the company’s responsibilities to
deliver corporate service to its large public, the statement indicated,
noting that the May, 2008 rationalization was carried out based on the
provision of the Public Service Reform guidelines.

However, the process of concluding this exercise led to delay in the
implementation of the monetization policy of the Federal Government.
Therefore, to comply with the preconditions, implementation of the policy
commenced 1stJuly, 2008 after the May 2008 rationalization exercise.

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

She indicated further,  In compliance with the directives of the Federal
Government in the public service guidelines, those affected by the
rationalization exercise were not entitled to the monetization and enhanced
staff allowances as it was a precondition before implementation of the
scheme thus the two months of monetization arrears paid to them was
regarded as an error made and accepted in good faith.

” Entitlement paid to them are as listed below:

*Three (3) months’ salary in lieu based on their salaries at the time of
disengagement

*Gratuity calculated in line with their salary at the date of exit, May
31st, 2008.

* 10% pension & gratuity as compensation due to reorganization was paid to
them as provided for in the Pension Act (Decree 102 of 1979)

*Pension Contribution remittance to their RSA

* Accrued pension right remitted to their PFA/RSA using the Alexander
Forbes actuarial valuation as at 31st May, 2008. The approved template by
the Bureau of Public Service Reform and Federal Ministry of Transport was
used for their payment.

*Repatriation allowance was paid to them based on the components of the
template from the Bureau of Public Service Reform

Giving the foregoing, it is clear that their entitlements were fully paid
based on the policy guidelines of the Federal Government Reforms programme.
Further agitation by this group with intervention and negotiations from the
in house Senior Staff Association led Management of Nigerian Ports
Authority to consider some palliative measures without recourse to the
issues that were earlier addressed (Pension, Gratuity and Repatriation) do
not arise or is not of place.

To finally address the matter and put it to rest, a 200% of one-year total
emolument amounting to ₦770,386,586.22 for the 530 earlier affected by the
exercise was agreed with the group.

Further to this, in October 11th, 2013 a joint Communique was reached on
the final payment to the 2008 disengaged employees. It was then resolved
that:

This constitutes the full and final payment to the disengaged employees of
2008.

A letter of indemnity was duly signed by everyone of them before the amount
due to each of them was paid. This arrangement was fully 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 from 3rd July, 2007 affected those who left service
thereafter.

They all 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 (4) years after the full implementation of
the new pension Act, 2004 and one year after the expiration of 3 years
grace given to those who had 3 years and below to retirement on the old
scheme.

Part 1. sub section 8(i) of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 states:
notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of section I of this Act,
any employee who at the commencement of this Act (25th June, 2004) is
entitled to retirement benefits under any Pension Scheme existing before
the commencement of this Act but has 3 or less years to retire shall be
exempted from the scheme. From the foregoing, the 3 years elapsed on 3rd
July, 2007.

In view of the above, it is pertinent to the state that the May, 2008
disengaged employees are not part of the Defined Pension Scheme which
effectively ended on 3rd July, 2007 as they were enrolled in the New
Contributory Pension Reform Scheme with all remittance to their Pension
Funds Account Managers made by Hadiza who  posited further, adding in
conclusion, that as a responsible Corporate entity of government with
regards to the statutes, extant regulations and laws of the land, the Ports
Authority would not be persuaded into pursuing their troubles further, she
said.

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