The Association of Retired Customs Officers has called on the Customs administration to pay some of its members, the pension arrears owed.
The Public Relations Officer of Lagos chapter of the association, Lewis Ogunojemite, was quoted as saying that retired officers were dying and ‘going through hell’ due to lack of payment of their entitlements by the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said among the retirees was a visually-impaired 90-year-old pensioner, who retired as a Deputy Comptroller General of Customs and was yet to be paid his entitlement 30 years after retirement.
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.”
When contacted, the spokesperson of the NCS, Joseph Attah, reportedly said the payment of pension arrears of retired officers was not within the purview of the Nigeria Customs Service management.
He explained that pensions were not drawn from the Service, adding that retired officers should contact their own individual pension administrators because it was not a single administrator that deals with all.
He advised the body to contact the pension administrators of their members that were affected.