From Tony John, Port Harcourt

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Ministry of Defence, has demanded the scrapping of the present Contributive Pension Policy of the Federal Government, or pay off retirees their savings and gratuity as obtainable in Nigerian Armed Forces.

Members of the group, who met in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, for the South-South Annual Delegates Seminar, said they have discovered that the policy is a fraud.

The association, who made several requests from Federal Government at the seminar, called for the approval and gazetting or staff appointment in welfare schools and other military establishments.

A statement made available to Daily Sun, by Chairman General, Ministry of Defence, Unit 2, Lagos-Outstations, Yusuf Emmanuel, demanded the payment of hanging salary for ASCSN members from 2011-2015.

The association stated: “The present Contributive Pension Policy of Federal Government be scrapped or pay off retirees their savings and gratuity as obtainable in Nigerian Armed Forces. We discovered lately that the pension policy is a fraud on the Federal workers.

“Government should restore gratuity and pay us 75 per cent of our pension instead of payment of one-third of our Contributive Pension savings.

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“ASCSN requests from government prompt placement and payment of promotion arrears from 2011-2017. Payment of repatriation allowances for the retirees since 2009 till date.

“Staff appointment in welfare schools and other military establishments should be approved and gazetted by the Ministry (MOD), rather than hearing it at the whims and caprices of the military authorities.”

The Chairman General, Emmanuel, explained the meeting was to sensitize and empower their members in order to know their rights, things going on in the society and how to live a valuable life.

He decried the depth of corruption in the country, which has made government and relevant authorities insensitive to the plights of Nigerians.

Emmanuel declared: “Government is very corrupt. We can’t shy away from the truth. It is very sad, very pathetic that the present government is insensitive to the yearnings of the people. We are saying enough is enough.

“The government is so deaf that we, as citizens, cannot fight for our rights. Even if you know your rights and you want to echo them, this government is intolerant. Government should play down on its ego, and come down to the level of the masses so that Nigerians can have a sense of belonging.”

Lead paper on the theme of the conference, “Service Delivery and Myth/Reality of the Present Pension Scheme”, was delivered by Nweke Onyekachi.