NLC Union condemns bill to exempt military, law enforcement agencies from contributory pension scheme

Wabba also commended the House of Representatives for the proposed bill for the regular review of the minimum wage.

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NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba play

NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday in Abuja condemned the pending bill to exempt military and law enforcement agencies from the National Contributory Pension Scheme.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, said this when he led a delegation to the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to know their  achievements and challenges, in continuation of  his “Meet the affiliate Tour”.

According to him, we condemn in very strong terms the current bill to remove all our military and other law enforcement agencies from the contributory pension scheme.

He added that this would lead to the entire collapse of the pension scheme, adding that because presently even with the core civil service, we have a liability of over N6 billion.

“This was a figure that was harmonised between the Senate, House of Representative, Minister of Finance, organised Labour and then the Minister of Budget and Planning.

“The liability as of today of earn allowance of workers and pensioners including deductions stood at over 600 billion, so it is wrong if this bill is allowed to pass through,” he said

Wabba said that if the military and the law enforcement agencies were removed from the contributory pension it would allow the resources to come from the central coffers.

He noted that if this was done, it was obvious that the entire contributory pension scheme would then collapse.

The NLC President, however, said that people assume that over 73 per cent of the entire pension funds which stood at over 6 trillion was already being borrowed through Federal Government Bond and Treasury Bills.

He said that with the new development if the pending bill was allowed to go through there would be a major shock in the economy, therefore, the entire pension contributory scheme would surely collapse.

According to him, it will be in the interest of the entire workers if the House of Representatives take honourable look at the issue.

“I do not think that they know the implication, but we have studied it because presently the pension arrangement is that 60 per cent of the contributions are from the private sector employees, only 40 per cent are from the Federal Government or public employees.

“Presently only 10 states had keyed into the contributory pension scheme that are actually funding, therefore, you can see the very precarious situation that is in place.

“This bill certainly at this point in time is not desirable and organised labour has called for withdrawal of this bill, because it will collapse the entire contributory pension system,” he added.

Wabba, however, commended the House of Representatives for the proposed bill for the regular review of the minimum wage at least every five years.

He noted that the review of the minimum every five years was actually in the collective bargaining system when the minimum wage was signed into law in 2011.

He added that it was mutually agreed that after every five years there should be a review but this was not captured in the law.

“We want to commend the progressive stand of the house in making this provision in the law, because this is also what applied in many economics,” he said.

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Wabba while commending NUGLE members for their support, called for greater synergy.

He said that the NLC would put up strategies in handing the challenges faced by the union.

The labour leader added that NLC would organised quarterly activities to strengthen its affiliates.

Speaking, Mr Ibrahim Khaleed, NUGLE President said that the union was facing a lot of challenges, which includes the refusal of Akwa Ibom state government to pay check up dues.

Khaleed noted that others are the non-payment of local government workers’ salaries, poor relationships of leaders, lack of capacity building, non implementation of N18,000 minimum wage by Zamfara State Government.

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