UNILORIN ex contract staff protest non payment of their benefits

By Steve Oni, Ilorin

No fewer than 200 former contract staff of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) have protested non payment of their pension benefits, four years after they retirement from the institution.

Addressing journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital on their plight, the pensioners, led by Dr. Salihu Ajia, urged the management of the University to consider their harrowing experience and remit their pension deductions to their insurance companies so that they can be paid without further ado, lamenting that both the university management and the insurance companies in charge of their pension scheme had been tossing them about with one excuse or the other.

Dr Ajia, who said that payment of their pension benefits was supposed to commence immediately after their retirement, lamented the delay in payment of their entitlements despite completion of necessary documentations with the university and the insurance company before they retired.

He said the affected people worked in different departments of the institution, including teaching, administration, engineering and the university’s Radio Station before their disengagement in 2017.

“The pension scheme is supposed to commence immediately after retirement once the individual has completed all documentations. These documentations we are talking about are tedious, but we completed them before we retired on July 31, 2017.

“Ideally, after retiring and after completing all documentations with the university of Ilorin and our insurance company, our business is supposed to be with the insurance company, Leadway Insurance. However, aside Leadway insurance company, there are other insurance companies one can pick from depending on the wish and discretion of the retirees.

“Having completed the documentations with the university of Ilorin and Leadway Insurance company, we approached the insurance company for the payment of our benefits, but to our chagrin, the insurance company said they had no business with us because the university did not remit our deductions to them.

“The insurance company added that it is Pencom that will give them directive to pay. But we don’t have anything to do with Pencom. However, we went to Pencom and getting there, they asked us to go back to the university. So, they have just been drilling and kicking us up and down like football because getting to the university, we were told that they have remitted all our deductions to the insurance company.

“But we know that it is only tenure (regular) employment that has to do with PenCom, not those of us on contract. As contract staff, the university is supposed to pay us at the end of our contract appointment. But that’s not happening now, four years after.

“We are appealing to the management of the university of Ilorin to pay our entitlements without further delay because it is our right”, he said.

Speaking with the desk officer of the University of Ilorin pension scheme, Mr. Opaleke, who confirmed being aware of the development, however, refused to speak further and referred us to the university’s Director of Corporate Affairs, saying that except directed, he is not entitled to speak with journalists on the matter.

When contacted, the Director, Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Mr Kunle Akogun, in a terse statement, said: “The Vice Chancellor said I have no problem with paying them once the money is available.”



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