The Nigerian Union of Pensioners has accused banks of refusing to pay pensions of its members after reportedly receiving allocation for the payment from the Federal Government, thus denying the retirees the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The Vice-Chairman, NUP, Federal Branch, Lagos, Arashi Lawal, said the money was specifically meant to settle December 2016 pensions for the federal retirees.
He accused three major banks of holding back the funds and denying the pensioners under them the opportunity of celebrating the Yuletide and New Year festivities with their families.
He said, “This is unfair; some of the banks have paid a few pensioners but three big banks have not paid a larger number of the retirees. And we are aware that our money is with them because the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate told us that the money had been released to them.
“It is sad to see your colleagues getting paid while you are not paid. This means bleak Christmas and New Year for those not paid.”
The Head Corporate Communications, PTAD, Theodora Amechi, said the organisation was “engaging with the relevant authorities to ensure a quick resolution of the problem; I urge the pensioners to please bear with us. The 33 per cent arrears will also be paid as soon as funds are available.”
Some of the affected pensioners who spoke to our correspondent on the issue said they had not been paid for years and had no money to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.
The affected retirees, who expressed worry that undue hardship was sending many of them to their early grave, appealed to the Federal Government to urgently respond to their plight and pay their pensions.
The Chairman, NUP, Lagos, Mr. Dele Joseph, said the rate at which the members were calling the secretariat to lodge pension complaints was becoming worrisome.
He said the union could only plead with the government to come to the aid of the retirees so that they could have money to take care of themselves and their dependants.