Association of Retired Customs Officers has appealed to the Customs management to pay the pension arrears owed some of its members.
The Public Relations Officer of Lagos chapter of the association, Lewis Ogunojemite, was quoted to have said that some retired officers were dying and ‘going through hell’ due to lack of payment of their entitlements by the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said, “It is not fair for those who have so much contributed to the service of their fatherland to be treated in a horrible manner. As I speak with you, there is a particular case of an elderly man who is in his 90s now, he retired as a Deputy Comptroller General of Customs but his pension was paid as a Controller.
“The association fought so much that we got approval even from the Head of Civil Service to the legal department and before the Customs management announced the current set of Deputy Comptroller Generals, the case had been concluded to pay the affected officer but till date, the matter is still with Customs and we are wondering why they have not paid.
“Along with him, there are also other officers like that. They have worked out their money and they have been approved to be paid, yet the files are just hanging somewhere.”
In response to the above allegation, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Customs Service, Joseph Attah, reportedly said the payment of pension arrears of retired Customs officers was not within the purview of the Nigeria Customs Service management and he directed the pensioners to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA).
However, its necessary to note that for those who retired in the old scheme their pension payments will be administered via Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) while the pension of those who retired under the new Contributory Pension Scheme will be administered by their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
Either ways, before Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) or the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) can pay the retirees the Federal Government (Nigeria Customs) as the employer is required to send all their pension entitlements to PTAD or the PFA as applicable.