The Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to remit N35 billion contributory pension fund deducted from workers’ salaries to the respective Pension Fund Administrators.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made the call at the opening session of the congress’ Three-day National Leadership Retreat in Calabar, Cross River State.
Wabba said: “Deductions that were made for the past few months by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation have accumulated to N35 billion.
“Deductions from workers and employers have not been remitted to the PFAs.
“This has posed a serious challenge to the effective implementation of the contributory pension scheme.
“This is the very key because the pensioners must be taken serious, side by side addressing the issue of corruption.
“This must be taken seriously.”
Wabba said the NLC had taken the lead and written officially to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and ensure that the fund was remitted to PFAs and Managers promptly and immediately.
He urged the President to direct the affected ministries, agencies and parastatals to immediately remit the funds without further delays to the respective PFAs.
Wabba said the NLC National Executive Council received reports about some states defaulting in the payment and remittance.
He said the congress had mandated its leadership to mobilise workers to ensure that the arrears of worker’s salaries, allowances and pensions were paid by the affected states.
Wabba said the Federal Government could not afford to be listed among the debtor bodies.
“It has to lead this exercise by sheer force of example,” he said.
He also said there was the need to review the rate of patronage of the Trustfund Plc in which NLC has 10 per cent share.
On the fight against corruption by President Buhari, the NLC president said corruption had eaten deep into the body polity.
Wabba said the NLC National Executive Council and its National Administrative Council have resolved to team up with the President against corruption in the country.
He said: “Come September 10, organised labour is going to champion a cause to ensure that we strengthen the hands of Mr. President and all our elected officers to do what is needful.
“This is to make sure that all corrupt officers – be they in service or out of service – are brought to justice.
“Not only that, those funds must also be recovered.
“So, it is going to be one of the rallies we call mother of all rallies and I urged all of us to commence preparations to ensure that we make success of this pronouncement.
“This is because if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill all of us.
“Therefore, we should not allow corrupt people to subvert the process.”
The Speaker of the House Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, pledged the support of the House to the organised labour for the planned rally.
The speaker, represented by Rep. Sani Zoro, said the House would provide legislative support towards employment generation in the country.
Then News Agency of Nigeria reports that the retreat has as its theme: “Returning to our Founding Principles: The NLC and The Challenges facing it.”