ATEN RAISES ALARM OVER UNDUE ATTEMPT TO MANIPULATE FORMER NITEL / MTEL’S PENSION BUY-OUT.

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By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin city

The Association of Former Telecoms Employees of Nigeria ( ATEN ) has accused the Federal ministry of Finance and the Executive Secretary of PTAD of fraud, corruption and an act of illegality.

ATEN stated that, the ministry submitted huge amount of money in her budget, and defended same before the National Assembly in the name of payment of monthly pension to former Nitel / Mtel ex-workers

The association in a statement in Benin city and signed by its National Secretary,
Comr. Francis Ogbakpan said that is a known and obvious fact that former Nitel / Mtel was at liquidation limited liability companies and not Parastatals, especially as they know that the BPE was a party at the Liquidation Court.

According to them, “the Supervisory Agency of liquidated Companies, was already working tirelessly with the liquidator to ensure that the ex-workers of former Nitel / Mtel are paid off the balance of their 20years pension buy-out and other outstanding entitlements, as a result of the case won at the Liquidation Court at the Federal High Court 6 sitting in Abuja.”

He said that, ” on behalf of the ex-workers of Nitel / Mtel by ATEN which judgment declared ATEN as the “Secured Creditor”, he has never seen where monthly pension was paid to the employees of a liquidated limited liability company which company never took subvention or received budgetary allocation from the government while in operation.

Also, the ATEN president Comr. Gabriel Oluti added that the rule of law should be allowed to prevail by respecting and implementing the liquidation Court judgment.

He described the action of the Minister of Finance and the Executive Secretary of PTAD as illegal and anti rule of law.

He said , “It would be recalled that, when the previous government before this current one, referred payment claims to the Ministry of Communication for settlement, the ministry re-directed it to BPE as the ministry claimed that since Nitel / Mtel operated an Independent Pension Scheme while in operation, that only BPE which is the official federal government secretariat on Privatisation that can pay such pension buy-out.”

Adding that, ” as secured creditors, ATEN will continue to explore all legal means to ensure complaince with the Liquidation Court judgment.”

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