NEW information have revealed that had the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) PLC not taken steps in 2008 to bailout the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and offset the gratuity of its 936 pensioners when they did, there would not only have been unrest but the agitating pensioners would only have started receiving their monies in 2020, 12 years after its Privatization.
Nigerianflightdeck in uncovered documents also revealing NAHCO has since been trying to get the refund of those monies paid in 2008 to the tune of N1, 132, 807, 425.62kobo (N1.1Bn) on behalf of the BPE having written no less than thirteen (13) letters to the BPE and the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) which now handles pensions.
Former staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company in the media recently condemned the non-payment of their pension 15 years after privatization of the company lamenting alleged irregularities and corrupt activities by Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate and Bureau of Public Enterprises, the two agencies handling the payment of pension for them.
General Secretary of the former NAHCO staff forum, Alademomi Sanmi, revealed that they had suffered some trauma due to non-payment of their pensions stating that the BPE rather than pay all former staff their pension fee, settled some part of their pension fee while many others were yet to receive any fee.
He however addressed all their woes to NAHCO whom they claim have seemingly taken delight in their plight to the extent of eyeing and targeting pension funds approved by the government for us which in fairness cannot even equate with our overall suffering over the years.
Another affected former staff of NAHCO, also said that while they had done verification, PTAD and BPE were employing delay tactics to frustrate the pensioners from receiving their funds.
“NAHCO was privatised in 2005 and the BPE money that was supposed to be given to us, they did not begin to give us until towards the end of 2019.
However, the information made available to Nigerianflightdeck indicates that all NAHCO staff have been those disengaged and those that were reabsorbed have been paid their full dues as at December 31, 2007 by the company and the company has been trying without luck since 2008 to get its refund from BPE and now PTAD for the bailout it gave.
A source who spoke to our reporter anonymously but with details provided the list of 936 former staff of the agency some of whom got as much as N17million, while others got N15million, N12m, N11million, N5 million according to their level stating anyone who said he or she was not paid in Nahco should come out.
“ If they claim some of them have received monies as gratuity or pension, I would not know where that is coming from as it is not from NAHCO. The truth is the gratuity was supposed to be paid by the BPE and when it was discovered that proceeds will not come in together at once to make that payment because there NAHCO was privatized through an Initial Public Offer (IPO). Management made a proposal to the board because there was agitation in the system, so that the company would pay and when BPE was ready they would pay the company back.
“We have their files and details so it is a lie to say they were not paid. I was also affected I have been a staff for over 20 years now, I was disengaged, Paid off and reabsorbed into the company and given a new appointment letter effective January 2008.”
“ As at the time Nahco was privatized it wasn’t a joint funded gratuity, it was solely funded by the company there was no contribution from anywhere. We had to crystallize the gratuity meaning gratuity then was paid to the people who were leaving the company and those who were disengaged and reabsorbed and so everyone’s gratuity was paid.
Also no fewer than 13 correspondences were written for the payment of refunds of N1, 132, 807, 425.62kobo between NAHCO and BPE and later PTAD where the ground handler continued to remind the agencies of its funds to be remitted.
Some correspondents went as far back as May 15, 2008 to the BPE then headed by Dr. Irene Chikwe to inform the BPE of payment of gratuity made on its behalf, attaching schedule of payment, how much, and asking for the refund as agreed.
The back and forth of correspondences continued on 2nd April, 2009 to BPE, another letter was sent 27th July, 2009 signed by Dr. Patrick Dele Cole the then NAHCO Chairman then another letter was sent on 13th January, 2010 followed by another on 8th March, 2010 and 27TH October, 2010 when Bates Sule was Managing Director.
There was further correspondence was sent 7th September 2011, 22nd February 2012, 19th July, 2012 some of the letters coupled with visits.
According to the source, in 2013 however there was a positive response from the BPE under the leadership of Benjamin Dikki who promised they were going to look into the matter after verification was done and a delegation was sent over for an audit to prove the monies were paid.
In 2015 however, NAHCO was informed that the matter has be transferred to PTAD and the company should follow up with PTAD.
According to the source the present Group Managing Director has written twice to PTAD on February 19 and July 16 2019 for the refund to the company and that is in no way monies for pension that NAHCO has since paid in 2008.