Railway Pensioners: N3.6 billion Pensions Fund Held by NRC Management
Retirees of the Nigerian Railway Corporation has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to urgently intervene and investigate why the management of the Railway Corporation is refusing to pay their pensions and entitlements.
The pensioners, who are members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), also revealed that the N3,637,483. 00 meant for the payment of pensions and entitlements are allegedly being held by some members of the management of the NRC.
Also Read: In One Week, Stock Investors Lose N114bn
In a written petition to the EFCC Zonal Head in Ikoyi, titled, ‘Fraudulent conversion of the sum of N3, 637 483. 00 by Oluwaseyi Sijuwade, Felix Njoku, J.C. Nwankwo, Oshunmakinde (Mrs), Abdulrahmon Abubakar, Monsurat Omotayo, Fidet Okhira and Alh. Abubakar A.A. being Pension Fund meant for all the railway pensioners who retired in September 2005 contrary to sections: 104, 382, 383, 385, 422, & 435 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C 38.’
The pensioners, through their solicitors said, “On November 25, 2005, the Federal Ministry of Transport directed the then Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation in person of Alhaji A.A. Abubakar to pay our clients. It was communicated on November 25, 2005 via a Ref. No. T00062/S. 163/ Vol. lV/864.
“The aforesaid monies were meant for “severance benefits to the recently disengaged NRC staffs”. The payment of the said money ought to have commenced on December 12, 2005. Our clients have written letters to the Managing Director demanding the payment of the money but there was no response.
“On March 22, 2021, another letter was written to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, yet there was no response. It was after the aforementioned frustrations that my clients engaged our services in which a letter was written and directed to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railways Corporation which was acknowledged.
“The affected pensioners have resolved to take their complaint to the ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for the financial misfeasance of the Nigerian Railway Corporation management. The pensioners have lost trust in the Nigerian Railway Corporation management having written several letters on the above subject matter but with zero response.
“The aforementioned anti-graft bodies are saddled with the duties of investigating financial misfeasance and irregularities in financial management who are also apt to duties in resolving issues of this magnitude.
“Our clients are ready to ensure that the culprits who are responsible for the mismanagement of the Pension Trust Fund, in custody of the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation are prosecuted and if found guilty, sentenced to jail forthwith.
“To avert the aforementioned, the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation is given 30 days of the receipt of this letter within which to pay the said monies to the affected pensioners. Otherwise the aforementioned anti-graft bodies shall be fully involved immediately after the expiration of the 30 days of the receipt of this letter.”
As the Corporation has failed to respond to the pensioners’ pleas that they pay their members, the NUP National Headquarters has confirmed the pensioners’ position and hinted that they are working on plans to commence legal action against the Corporation.