Ogun State NLC Tasks State Government On Workers Five Years Contributory Pension
Ladi Kayode, Abeokuta
Ogun State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday disclosed that the government is owing workers contributory pension deduction for five years including other backlog of arrears in the state. Chairman of the workers’ union in the state, Comrade Akeem Ambali made this known during a press conference at the secretariat of the union located along Moshood Abiola Way, Abeokuta.
He said that the state’s indebtedness to the workers has made them restless, agitated and fast loosing hope of survival in the state. Ambali who spoke against the backdrop of the recent Federal Government bailout to the states, however acknowledged the dwindling allocation from the federation account said it was time to call on the state government to do the needful towards a better welfare for the workers in the state and also ensure that the bailout sum be judiciously used on receipt.
He lamented that pension deductions, cooperative deductions, gratuities and check off dues have not been remitted to the appropriate quarters in almost one year, and urged the governor not to divert the fund to settle other debts.
His said: “Now that we are having bailout from the Federal Government, workers are afraid the some Governors might use that money to settle other areas, we are not saying Ogun State government would do that but we are being pro-active.
We want to appeal to Ogun State government to ensure that that money is judiciously and properly used to settle the backlog of salary arrears ranging between eight and five months in the area of areas’.
“We have backlog of unpaid contributory pension scheme deduction of 60 months, we also have unpaid check off dues of 7 months, we have unpaid cooperatives and other deductions of about 8 months.
We are also having outstanding payment of gratuity from November 2012 till date that has not been paid to retirees. “Congress also note that subvention to Higher Institutions in Ogun State has not been remitted since January till date.
We are aware workers of TASCE are struggling to get their salaries up till now, these pathetic situations call for concern. “And Congress wants to advice Ogun State government that the bailout fund being expected from the Federal purse should be used to settle all these accumulated arrears in the interest of industrial peace and harmony in Ogun State.”
The Chairman explained that the bailout would only be a bonus to Ogun State government since the Governor Ibikunle Amosun has expressed capacity to pay the deductions before the end of the month. On the recent proscription of workers unions in Tai Solarin College of Education, TASCE, Ambali explained that the government has no constitutional power to do so.
Also speaking on the proposed pension harmonisation, Ambali said government had promised to consider it, adding that pensioners should also be included at every point of salary increment as a matter of their constitutional rights.
‘We have written Ogun State Government requesting for a meeting, we want the government to be merciful’, he concluded. In the absence of commissioners, who are yet to be appointed by the governor, no government official was ready to speak on the matter, while the Governor Amosun is away in Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj.