NITEL/MTEL pensioners appeal to Buhari over 7- month arrears

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Pensioners of the defunct Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL/MTEL) have written President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to intervene in ensuring compliance with his directive that they be paid the 77 months’ pension arrears owed them.

The NITEL/MTEL pensioners in the letter signed by the group’s leader, Mr Kunle Ojo, noted that while most of their counterparts in other privatised government agencies had been settled, their own fate continued to hang in the balance.

They said they are constantly reminded by the Executive Secretary of PTAD that the settlement of their pension arrears is subject to release of funds by the federal government.

The letter read in part: “Your Excellency Sir, we NITEL/MTEL pensioners deeply appreciate your humanitarian gesture of reinstating our pensions. We humbly bring to your notice that we are still owed 77 months in arrears.

“What aches our souls is that most of our counterparts in other privatised government agencies have been settled as you have signed executive orders granting their full settlement.

“We are not oblivious of your magnanimity in seeing to the welfare of the disadvantaged and elderly which you sincerely promised in your inaugural speech. Your paternal persuasion to action which has restored our monthly pensions has met us halfway and we are grateful.

“It however remains the settlement of our arrears for which we now use this medium to make the request that you use your exalted offices to make this possible by the end of this 2021 fiscal year as promised. We strongly believe it is achievable as the executive secretary of PTAD has unequivocally promised to settle the said arrears this year but as it stands no action has been taken even as the year winds down to its inevitable close.

“Added to this (is that) we are constantly being reminded (rather frustratingly) by her that the settlement of our arrears is subject to the release of funds by the Federal Government. This is where we strongly appeal to your Excellency to intervene as many of us have died waiting for the fulfilment of your promise.

“While those of us who are alive are equally vulnerable without the full receipt of our arrears to enable us take care of many medical as well as other sundry problems. Let it be said that the settlement of our arrears was one of the glowing hallmarks of your administration. We salute you, your Excellency,” the pensioners wrote.

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