NRC commences pensioners' verification exercise

By The Citizen

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced the commencement of the 2014 pensioners' verification exercise.

The Managing Director, NRC, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, who said this in a statement on Tuesday, said the exercise was made possible with  the prompt release of funds by the Federal Government.

While commending the government for the provision of funds, he also lauded the National Assembly Committee on Pension Matters for their assistance in appropriating adequate funds for pension.

According to him, the Federal Government has always demonstrated its commitment to prompt payment of pensioners by way of budgetary provisions and compliance with the Pension Reform Act.

Sijuwade called on all NRC pensioners to be patient with verification officials so as to achieve a dependable database on the statistical status of the pensioners.

This, he explained, would enhance seamless payment of pensions as and when due.

He commended the Minister of Transport,  Senator Idris Umar, for his support and cooperation with the NRC management to ensure that the welfare and well-being of the NRC Pensioner receive a boost through enhanced pension rates.

He added that all the recommendations made by the Ministerial Committee on Pension rate were receiving attention with a view to scaling up the monthly pension.

In his response, the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NRC Branch, Alhaji Rauf Balogun, praised the NRC management for its efforts in reviving the railway with visible improvement in service delivery and the welfare of workers.

Early this year, the NRC had uncovered an alleged fraud in the administration of pension matters in the company to the tune of N270m.

Sijuwade, who confirmed setting up the panel to investigate the issue said it was a 'routine internal check.'

He said the committee was set up to investigate how the pension office had been managed in the last three months.

He said, 'It is a regular thing or a routine check by the management.  The committee is just to investigate pension management in the last three years.'

Sijuwade, who said no fraud had been established yet, noted that all pension arrears had been settled.

He added that the only pending issue was the harmonisation of the pension rate, in which the retirees were agitating that their pensions must be at par with those of their colleagues in other agencies of the government.

This, he said, was currently awaiting the government's approval.

The investigation panel was headed by the NRC's Director, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Department, Mr. Fidet Okheria.