Stakeholders in the nation’s aviation sector have called on the federal government to investigate the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), over incessant crisis with workers’ pension remittances and deductions.
LEADERSHIP reports that the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) branch had on Tuesday barricaded the headquarters of the Authority following the inability of its management to pay Consequential Pension Adjustment (CPA) as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
But, in a chat with Journalists over the impasse between FAAN and the NUP, former secretary general, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Yinka Abioye and the secretary general, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), Group Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd), argued that FAAN’s pension fund should be investigated being on the first line charge, paid ahead of workers salaries.
According to Ojikutu, In 2007, N2.8billion was once taken from the N19.5billion aviation infrastructure intervention funds to pay FAAN staff pension yet, pensioners are still groaning over payment.
He said, “There must be something smelling with bad odour coming out always from the FAAN pension payments. In 2007, N2.8billion was once taken from the N19.5billion aviation infrastructure intervention funds to pay FAAN staff pension, i will suggest that the funds be investigated if it is contributory.”
He stated further that fund from infrastructure deficit was taken to pay pensioners yet, there is still complaint about pension fund.
His words, “the same was said in 2007 when money for infrastructure development deficit was taken to pay pensioners. What is really with us all? This is nothing about government but us all the governed in the administration of the government; this is 20 years down the line, who will save us from ourselves,” he asked rhetorically.
Abioye on his part said there are errors with the way FAAN is handling workers pension fund.
Abioye, the immediate-past secretary general of NUATE accused FAAN of violating Pension reforms act.
“There are fundamental errors with the manner with which FAAN handles pensions and pensioners welfare. FAAN violated the Pension Reform Act so badly that it cannot come out of the problem in the next ten years. I also know that due to lack of proper understanding of the way pensions payment are computed and paid, many pensioners get carried away if and when salaries or some allowances are paid workers.”
“The Principal rule provides that when salaries and allowances are approved for upward review, there shall be corresponding review in pensions. This principle is being misinterpreted both by FAAN pensioners and management.
“The latter is to be blamed for any industrial action that may arise because pension payment should be on the first line charge, paid ahead of workers salaries given the status of the beneficiaries as senior citizens and if management enters into an agreement with its workers or pensioners, such agreement must be respected.”
“If, however, a stumbling block creeps up before the implementation, courtesy demands that a meeting is initiated to dialogue, in order to prevent break law of law and or order,” he said.