The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has revealed that a total of 222 ex-workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) were paid N141.38m in four batches between June 19 and July 28.
PTAD made the disclosure in response to the aggrieved ex-workers of NAHCO who alleged irregularities in the payment of their one-off severance package by the directorate.
According to a statement by the Head of Corporate Communications, PTAD, Mr Olugbenga Ajayi, a total of 1,130 NAHCO ex-workers were verified during a nationwide verification exercise carried out for all Parastatals Pension Department pensioners which were concluded in November 2019.
Out of this figure, 786 ex-workers were classified as qualified and a total of 222 ex-workers were indicated as paid. For the remaining 564 ex-workers, their files were to be reviewed and computed.
PTAD said no amount was approved for the ex-workers.
The directorate said the payments made to the ex-workers were funded from the directorate’s savings from pension releases for the payment of monthly pension to pensioners on its payroll.
PTAD said, “Our computation model is based primarily on entitlements mentioned and defined in the NAHCO staff conditions of service handbook.
“The entitlements computed for each NAHCO ex-staff or the next of kin as applicable, comprised of the following: Long service gratuity (subject to achieving a minimum of 10 years in service); Leave allowance (subject to achieving at least six months in service); One month salary (in lieu of notice); Disengagement allowance and repatriation allowance.”
PTAD stated that some terminal benefits had already been paid to the ex-workers by NAHCO and the Bureau of Public Enterprises, while the current amount paid by the directorate was the net amount determined after deducting the earlier payments.
It said, “Whatever is payable as outstanding net amount to NAHCO ex-staff is, therefore, a function of the amount earlier paid to them.
“In view of this, the directorate does not make any deduction from the amount computed and determined as the outstanding net benefits due to each ex-worker of NAHCO.”
According to the statement, computation of the severance benefits of the ex-workers is based on the date of the first appointment as opposed to dates of conversion claimed by the aggrieved staff.
It also explained that payments were being staggered in batches to prevent overpayments or wrong payments.
PTAD balmed NAHCO for not providing all the details of the affected workers.
It said, “It is important to note that the response received from NAHCO to the directorate’s request for relevant information that could aid its due diligence and data-gathering exercise preparatory to verification was not sufficient to include ex-workers of NAHCO as part of the agencies whose ex-workers were verified and subsequently enrolled in 2017/2018.
“This challenge with complete and timely information was also responsible for the inability of the directorate to verify the ex-workers of NAHCO during the Lagos phase of the directorate’s nationwide verification exercise that was held from 23rd April to 9th May 2019.”