Pensioners must be paid

Statutory corporations and organisations have a duty to treat their pensioners humanely.

 

C.B.N. v. Amao [2010] 16 NWLR (Pt. 1219) 271 at 307, paras. C-H, per Onnoghen, JSC (now CJN):

“It is rather unfortunate that the efforts of the Federal Government to put smile on the faces of the pensioners of the appellant so as to alleviate their sufferings having regards to the harsh economic realities of this country have been almost frustrated by arguments on legal technicalities whilst the people continue to suffer year in year out. It is disturbing because the people involved are senior citizens of this country who have contributed their quota to the development of the nation during their prime, but look at the way an organisation like the appellant is treating them… It is important for every organisation in this country, including the appellant, to wear a human face in its treatment of the people, particularly the senior citizens, because it will be anybody’s turn tomorrow to be a senior citizen. We must re-examine our attitude towards the senior citizens of this country so as not to make them regret their sacrifice for the nation in whatever capacity. The respondents need not be put to the expenses of litigating this matter in the first place let alone all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Blogger’s Note:

Before we comment on the video above, what happened in the above cited case was that the Appellant refused to pay pension to the Respondents in accordance with the then Federal Government harmonised pension scheme which was drawn following a report by a panel on civil service reform  set up by the Federal Government. Aggrieved, the Respondents sued the Appellant at the Federal High Court. The Appellant’s appeal up to the Supreme Court was unanimously dismissed. Read full Judgment here.

Now, the above video (exclusively recorded by SLB today, 15 March, 2017), shows some aggrieved retirees of the Nigerian Ports Authority staging an organised protest over their unpaid pension arears. Read a fuller report here.

Indeed, every citizen including pensioners has a right to protest publicly. It is our expectation that the NPA would hearken to their voices and take note of the notable pronouncement by Onnoghen, CJN above.

Extras: You may read “Understanding the Impact of Pension Reforms in Nigeria“. Download the Pension Reform Act 2014.

 

 

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