We’re not against contributory pension scheme in C/River – NLC


By Aluta News

Jan. 16, 2024

The Cross River chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it is not against the proposed  contributory pension scheme by the state government.

Mr Lawrence Achuta, State Vice Chairman of the NLC disclosed this to  the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Calabar.

He said Gov. Bassey Otu , during the  celebration of his 100 days in office as Cross River governor,  said the state needed about N24 billion to clear the backlog of gratuities and pension of retired civil servants.

“The governor said  the state may not be able to meet the obligation,  hence the need to introduce the contributory pension scheme in partnership with some financial institutions, which the workers rejected.”

Achuta urged  the government to engage the workers before introducing the  scheme, saying there was  need to know the processes, conditions and  benefits attached to it.

He said the workers needed to understand the concept of the scheme, the laws backing it and know what it generally entailed.

“It is not that the workers totally rejected the scheme but there are some issues that must be resolved  and understood. It  has not been done.

“It is the way contributory pension is handled generally in Nigeria,  that is why people are skeptical, otherwise, there is nothing wrong with the idea.

“A situation where there is a deduction from your salary  but when you retire, your fund administrator cannot make funds available to you because government was not making its own remittances,  is a source of concern.

“There is also what we call right of accrual, those that have served for certain number of years in the civil service before migrating to the contributory pension scheme.

“The years the workers have put in service are supposed to be calculated and a government bond which will mature at their retirement issued them, these were all spelt out in the Pension Reform Act,” he said.

He maintained that the state should not just jump into a contributory pension scheme without taking all other components of the scheme .

He said the  position of the NLC on  the issue still remained that workers needed to be fully oriented on what they are  being migrated into.

However, when contacted,  Mr Erasmus Ekpang, River’s Commissioner for Information said the state government had not abandoned the planned contributory pension scheme.

Ekpang stated that the state was still working out modalities to ensure that the scheme was implemented effectively.

“The programme is still in the pipeline, these things don’t just happen, we are still working on areas to make the scheme workable,” he said.


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