The National Union of Pensioners, First Bank Branch, on Tuesday embarked on a peaceful protest to the bank for allegedly shortchanging them in the payment of their pensions.
The protest was held at First Bank Main branch, Ahmadu Coomasie House in Abuja.
NAN reports that the pensioners were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions which read: “First Bank management is busy giving themselves illegal loans from our pension funds. Is this not financial crime? EFCC please investigate’’.
Other inscriptions are: “EFFC/ICPC please we beg you in the name of God, investigate our pension funds for us. What FBN is doing is not banking but cut and join’’ among others.
The National Vice President of NUP, First Bank branch, Mr Okoye Fidelis told NAN that they were being short paid.
Okoye alleged that they were being paid N15,000 monthly compared to N65,000 that was being paid their counterparts in other financial institutions.
Okoye, who retired as a management staff of the bank, said he came all the way from Anambra to be part of the protest just other pensioners.
“You pay us N15,000 for pension monthly, an amount which cannot cook a pot of soup in this present day Nigeria.
“They are sending us to our early graves as most of our members have died due to the poor funds being paid to us.
“We cannot even pay school fees, medical bills or buy basic amenities in this country with that meager amount,’’ he said.
Another pensioner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he traveled from Lagos to Abuja to join the protest.
He said that First Bank would not have been where they are today without their commitment in making the bank reliable.
“I worked in First Bank for twenty years and I retired in 2016, I know the commitment I had to put in while I was in service.
“In union bank for instance, a retired officer, his wife and two children are entitled to unlimited medical services which is fully paid for by the bank.
“But the case is different with First Bank as they give us only N30,000 per annum for medical services.
“It is, however, unfortunate that the bank repays us in this inhumane manner,’’ he said.
Bunmi Ogunkolade, NUP, Assistant General Secretary, said the bank took the pensioners to court in Oct. 2010 over the issue and the pensioners won the case.
“I expect the management of First Bank to honour the court ruling in favour of the pensioners which was delivered in Oct. 2010.
“We are not leaving here today until the world knows our plights and till the EFCC investigates the bank”, he said.
However, NAN put several calls across to the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications of First Bank, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, to get the banks comment on the allegations, but the calls were not answered until the time of filing this report.