Former telecom employees fault PTAD on monthly pension

Matthew Otoijagha

Association of former Telecoms Employees of Nigeria, ATEN, has accused the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, of fraud, corruption and an act of illegality.

ATEN accused the ministry of submitting huge amount of money in its budget to the National Assembly and defended same before it in the name of payment of monthly pension to former Nitel/Mtel ex -workers.

Speaking through its National Secretary, Francis Ogbakpan, the group said: it was aware that the BPE which was a party at the Liquidation Court and the Supervisory Agency of liquidated companies, was already working tirelessly with the liquidator to ensure that the ex-workers of former Nitel/ Mtel are paid the balance of their 20 years pension buy-out and other outstanding entitlements.

This follows the case won at the Liquidation Court at the Federal High Court 6 sitting in Abuja, on behalf of the ex-workers of Nitel/Mtel by ATEN which judgment declared ATEN as the “Secured Creditor.”

Ogbakpan who spoke in Benin City said he had never seen where monthly pension was paid to the employees of a liquidated limited liability company which never took subvention or received budgetary allocation from the government while in operation.

Corroborating him, ATEN President, Gabriel Oluti, contended that the rule of law should be allowed to prevail by respecting and implementing the liquidation court judgment. He described the action of the Minister of Finance and the Executive Secretary of PTAD as illegal and anti-rule of law.

According to him, when the previous government referred payment claims to the Ministry of Communication for settlement, the ministry re-directed it to BPE as the ministry claimed that since Nitel/ Mtel operated an Independent   Pension Scheme while in operation, that only BPE which is the official Federal Government secretariat on Privatization can pay such pension buy-out, adding that “As secured creditors, ATEN will continue to explore all legal means to ensure compliance with the liquidation.”

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