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Payment of NITEL/MTe Pensioners Begins Soon—PTAD

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NITEL MTel retirees

By Dipo Olowookere

The management of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has assured pensioners of the privatised NITEL/MTEL would soon begin to receive their payments.

This assurance was given in a statement issued by the agency on Friday, September 7, 2018, in reaction to a press statement issued by the Association of Former Telecoms Employees of Nigeria (ATEN), claiming that PTAD and the Federal Ministry of Finance had submitted and defended “huge amount of money” for the payment of monthly pension to ex-workers of company, suggesting that the action was “illegal and against the law.”

According to PTAD, during its verification exercise in February 2018, about 15,212 NITEL/MTEL pensioners were verified, following the approval granted by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, on February 10, 2017 for the enrolment of eligible pensioners of 10 defunct/privatized agencies including NITEL.

Mrs Adeosun’s approval followed the unrelenting agitation by representatives of the various pension groups for enrolment into ‘Pension for Life.’

According to PTAD, before this year’s exercise, it made it abundantly clear that its mandate was to verify and enrol eligible pensioners for the purpose of payment of monthly pension, in conformity with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (2014).

“This was what the Directorate did in the cases of Delta Steel Company (DSC), Nigeria Reinsurance, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), NICON Insurance and Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) civilians.

“PTAD is also on the verge of enrolling eligible pensioners of NITEL/MTEL. The current campaign of disinformation being perpetrated by the fringe group will, therefore, not distract PTAD from meeting this noble objective, nor will it distract from the Directorate’s ability of improving the welfare of pensioners,” the agency said.

PTAD noted that during the February 2018 exercise, from the 15,212 total verified NITEL/MTEL pensioners, 9,198 were the eligible pensioners computed (to be put on payroll), 3,233 were not eligible for pensions (served less than 10 years), while 1,385 were asked to provide additional information required for processing, with the same number of people, 1,385 fell under NoKs.

However, when Business Post made a summation of these figures given by PTAD, it was short of 11 and efforts made to reach PTAD for this discrepancy were futile.

But in the statement, the agency said the basis for computation was eligibility, salary structure and pensionable allowances.

It said those qualified for pension were workers who had spent a minimum of 10 years of service by September 30, 2006 (date of privatization), used NITEL salary structure received from Federal Ministry of Communications and Bureau of Public Enterprises.

PTAD further said federal government approved rates of increment were applied based on date of retirement 150% with effect from 1/1/1999, 30% with effect from 1/1/2000, 142% with effect from 1/5/2000, 6% with effect from 1/10/2003, 15% with effect from 1/1/2007, and 33% with effect from 1/7/2010.

“All computations are subjected to clearance by Resident Auditors from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF).

“Please note that the Directorate’s immediate priority is to put the eligible NITEL/MTEL pensioners on payroll for the payment of monthly pension

“The payment of monthly pension to eligible NITEL/MTEL pensioners will commence soon. All accumulated arrears will also be settled as soon as possible.

“All those who do not qualify under extant laws will be informed individually,” the agency said in the statement.

Payment of NITEL/MTe Pensioners Begins Soon—PTAD

Payment of NITEL/MTe Pensioners Begins Soon—PTAD

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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BEDC Promises to Restore Electricity to Delta Community

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benin electricity distribution company BEDC

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has promised to restore electricity to the Agbarho community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

This was disclosed by the Head of the Community Relations of BEDC, Mr Simple Ugherakpoteri, at a meeting between the company and leaders of the community.

He explained that the prolonged power outage in the community was caused by a heavy downpour that destroyed electric poles.

He stated that BEDC’s men were already working and power will be restored immediately they are through.

Mr Ugherakpoteri also promised to look into the issue of overbilling and estimated bills complained about by the community.

Responding on behalf of the community, President General of Agbarho Urhobo Improvement Union, Mr Monday Igho-Odiphri, described the meeting as fruitful and expressed hope that power will be restored to the community as soon as possible.

He urged BEDC officials to keep to their own part of the agreement and promised to give all necessary assistance, assuring that the BEDC office will not be relocated from the community.

Recently, members of the Delta community took to the streets to protest against the incessant power outage in the area and outrageous estimated bills being imposed on them by the company.

BEDC is responsible for the retail distribution of electricity in Delta, Edo, Ekiti, and Ondo States with geographical coverage of 55,770 square kilometres.

The company operates from 25 business districts with approximately 350 offices located across the four states with about 13 million people and about 4 million households.

The DisCo is the 4th largest in distribution capacity and 3rd largest in the number of households among the Distribution Companies (Discos) in Nigeria.

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Apprehension Over AMCON MD’s Visit to EFCC

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AMCON Ahmed Kuru

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The visit of the Managing Director of Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr Ahmed Kuru, to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is already causing apprehension.

Mr Kuru was reportedly grilled by the anti-graft agency on Wednesday after he was invited by the organisation for questioning.

Already, it is being speculated that his ordeal with the EFCC may be connected with the plans by AMCON to name and shame chronic debtors, who took loans from commercial banks but refused to repay as promised.

Yesterday, the AMCON MD was grilled by the agency over allegations bordering on the diversion of assets and the sale of the properties to his associates at ridiculous prices.

According to reports, Mr Kuru allegedly sold properties valued at billions of naira belonging to Atlantic to another despite a court case on the assets.

Atlantic was accused of loan default with Skye Bank and the properties in collateral were seized and allegedly sold below the prevailing market value while the action was instituted in court.

Amid these accusations, the EFCC is yet to comment at the time of filing this report.

AMCON is an agency set up by the federal government to acquire all toxic loans of commercial banks, with the aim of recovering them.

In November 2021, the agency submitted a list containing its top 1,000 obligors owing N4.4 trillion to the National Assembly.

Mr Kuru had said with the support of the parliament and the Judiciary, recovering the total current exposure on all Eligible Bank Asset (EBAs), which stands at N4.4 trillion, may be possible before the sunset period.

He had lamented that more recently, due to the socio-economic downturn, the market values of assets have significantly reduced, lower than the valuation at the point of EBAs purchase, making it extremely difficult to consummate sales transactions.

“To enable AMCON to succeed in its national call to duty, AMCON solicits the continued support of this Distinguished Committee. The Judiciary must be encouraged to respect the provisions of the law that require them to fast-track cases before them, issue certificates of judgement on properties, which the Corporation has no collateral and demand debtors to deposit Judgment sum before proceeding to appeal any judgement,” he had stated.

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NSCDC Denies Operating Illegal Oil Bunkering Site

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Illegal Oil Bunkering Site

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has debunked the rumour that its marine exhibits yard in Ogbogoro jetty, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, was an illegal oil bunkering site.

This was made known by the Rivers State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Aliyu Bature, who explained that the Ogbogoro jetty has remained its marine exhibits yard for over 10 years.

He added that every marine exhibit like boats, vessels, barges drums, arrested by or handed over to the Corps by sister agencies for oil theft are usually detained at the yard, pending investigation and court prosecution.

This follows claims made by Obio/Akpor LGA Chairman, Mr George Ariolu, that the NSCDC marine exhibits yard in Ogbogoro was being used for illegal bunkering activities.

In the reaction to the allegation, Mr Bature disclosed that the NSCDC Commandant General, Mr Abubakar Audi, in December 2021 visited the said yard, maintaining that it was a known fact that the yard has been the Corps’ marine exhibits yard.

The agency said some of the exhibits, including 220 drums of AGO and eight Cotonou boats in the yard were seized by the Nigerian Navy and handed over to the NSCDC last week, while other vessels were taken by operatives of the Corps.

He disclosed that the agency has got an intelligence report that hoodlums were planning to attack the yard, by setting it ablaze in order to destroy the exhibits, assuring that such plans will be strongly resisted.

“This place is our marine exhibits yard and not an illegal dump. Most of the exhibits here were arrested by the Navy and handed over to us, while some of the arrests too were made by us.

“The commandant general was here in December and he’s aware that this place is our exhibits yard.

“The Commandant General has deployed personnel to ensure the place is secured, Ogbogoro jetty is a no-go area for anybody because destroying this place means destroying the exhibits to prove that these products were all stolen.

“We had it on good authority that hoodlums were planning to attack this place in order to destroy the exhibits and we will not allow that,” the statement said.

The NSCDC also urged members of the public to report any personnel of the organisation who is involved in the business of aiding and abetting oil theft, illegal bunkering and vandalism, warning that the agency will not hesitate to show such person the way out.

“If any of our personnel is caught, please report the person to us and we will discipline the person accordingly.

“The NSCDC leadership does not in any way condone acts of indiscipline. We are charged to protect critical national assets and if any of our personnel is involved, we will not take it likely.

“That is why those who were in charge of the anti-vandal unit have been disbanded, and are being investigated currently by the committee set up by the Commandant General,” the statement said.

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