Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Anambra State Council, on Monday, raised the alarm over alleged non-remittance of the deducted salaries of workers in the state meant for the Contributory Pension Scheme, to the appropriate quarters.
Raising the alarm during a brief ceremony to mark the 2018 World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) held at the NULGE Secretariat, Awka, the organised labour in the state stated the workers’ salaries have been deducted for the scheme by government since 2014 without being remitted to the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) as required by the law.
Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Jerry Nnubia, said the leadership of the NLC in the state had made several efforts to get the state government accordingly and in line with the law that established the scheme but to no avail.
Said he, “Since 2014 when the law of Contributory Pension Scheme was passed in the state, the government has continued to deduct the salaries of workers in the state in the name of the scheme without remitting same and that of government counterpart contribution to the appropriate quarters.
“It is also evident that the state government has not put up any structural framework as provided by the extant laws, for the scheme to succeed in the state.
The NLC Chairman said that government’s attempt to act after several memos of the NLC was done half hazard, noting that it was the resolve of the workers that if government was not ready to act according to the letters of the law that established the Contributory Pension Scheme, it should scrap it.
He continued, “We therefore wish to use this platform to reinstate our earlier demand that the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state be scrapped forthwith.
“It is also our demand that all deductions made so far from workers salaries in favour of the scheme be refunded.”
The labour used the opportunity of the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) celebration to call on the State government, to as matter of urgency, address all the labour issues raised by Organised Labour in the state.
On the issue of payment of arrears of gratuity owed to pensioners who retired from Local Government Service and Primary School Teachers from 2016 till date, Nnubia said, “Congress also demands that part of the 14 tranche of Paris Club Refund to states and local governments be utilised to settle the backlog of the gratuities owed to pensioners who retired from local government service and prmary school teachers from 2016 till date.
“Congress calls on the state government to harmonise the salaries of both the state and local government workers including the Health Salary Structure (HSS) to be at par. A situation where two salary tables exist in the state is unacceptable.
“Finally, Congress demands that the Federal Government and other critical stakeholders fast track the process of the National Minimum Wage negotiation through the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee, so that a new national minimum wage will soon come on stream, as Nigerian workers can no longer bear the hardship resulting from the harsh economic situation in the country.
“As. we mark this year’s World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), let’s once again remind government and all employers of labour that Decent Work has a fair income and ensures security in the workplace and social protection for families.
“It incorporates prospects for personal development and social integration as well the freedom for people to express themselves and organise. It also involves equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.”