Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday accused the Federal Government of defaulting in the agreement reached with workers 11years ago, as regards the contributory pension scheme in which workers were forced to part with certain percentages of their salaries to fund the scheme.
The congress said that it had recently come to their attention that the government has so far failed to remit its contributions as an employer and the deductions from employees’ salaries totalling N35billion to the respective Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who made the shocking revelations at the opening session of the National Leadership Retreat of Congress in Calabar, Cross River State, yesterday, recalled that they were persuaded by the government to migrate from the defined benefit scheme, which was operational in the entire public service of the federation to the new contributory scheme, in which the workers contribute parts of their monthly salaries to fund the new scheme, because of the unviable funding of the old scheme.
“Having studied the reports about a number of states being in default in the payment and remittances of workers’ pension deductions, and the mandatory employers’ deductions, which is referred to as ‘matching fund’, the National Executive Council, NEC, of the congress had already mandated the congress leadership to mobilise workers to ensure that the arrears of their salaries, allowances and pensions are cleared by the affected state governments,” he said.
Wabba declared that the congress had lost confidence in the activities of Trust Fund Plc, cautioning Nigerians to be careful while dealing with the organisation.
“It needs to be emphasised that the rate of patronage of the Trust Fund Plc, in which we have 10 percent share in, and which affords congress the opportunity to nominate a representative on the Board of Directors, is far from encouraging. However, we will need to review why this is so, and take steps to remedy it,” he said.
The NLC President said that they have written a letter to President Buhari to draw his attention to this illegality, thus requesting him to direct the affected Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs to immediately remit these funds without further delay to the respective PFAs.
Meanwhile, the NLC President has told labour leaders to revisit the recent call by the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, of the removal of subsidy on fuel, reaffirming that Labour would not shift its ground on the matter.
“We are surprised that Dr. Kachikwu has failed to read the lips of his principal, President Buhari who had consistently said he is not convinced that the vast majority of poor Nigerians can afford to bear the effect of the removal of the so-called subsidy on petrol,” he said.


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