THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday ordered Nigerian workers, particularly in Abuja and Lagos to stay off work on Wednesday next week in protest against the scam in the pension industry and the refusal of the government to resolve and find a lasting solution to the plights of Nigerian pensioners.
The congress gave the directive at a press conference held at the Labour House, Abuja, as it commenced mobilisation for the rally slated for that day in Abuja and all other state capitals across the federation.
Reading the text of the press conference, the Acting President of NLC, Comrade Promise Adewusi, said all members of organised labour, the NLC, TUC and their affiliates should stay off work on April 10, and join the rally to the Presidency in Abuja and state governors’ offices across the federation.
This, according to him is in solidarity with the pensioners, whose situation has become worst because of the government insensitivity to their plights over the years.
Comrade Adewusi addressed the press conference in company with the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) President, Comrade Ali Abatcha; the General Secretary of NLC, Comrade Chris Uyot (Acting); the NUP General Secretary, Comrade Actor Zal; NLC Head of Admin and Industrial Relation, Comrade Ema Ugboaja and the NLC head of Information, Comrade Benson Uppah.
The acting NLC President restated the resolve of the congress and its civil society allies to protest next Wednesday and physically take to the corridors of power in Abuja and across the states of the Federation the grievances of those who have served the country meritoriously in the past but are now suffering in their old age.
Comrade Adewusi said: “We have invited you here today not for lamentations but to restate our resolve to embark on a peaceful protest on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, except if before then, government considers it worthwhile to address the gross criminalities and inequalities in the pension fund administration in the country, particularly as they affect our members.
“The issues in a nutshell are the non-payment of outstanding arrears to scores of pensioners, non-enrolment of thousands of pensioners on the federal pension payroll, non-payment of death benefits to the deserving next of kin.”
Others, according to him, are non-implementation of payments to pensioners to reflect the 53.4 per cent salary review and payment of pension in line with relevant increases in the minimum wage to N18, 000; withholding of NUP statutory check-off dues for over a year, and the slow pace at which pension payment is being processed by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
He called for immediate restoration of the withheld check-off dues to NUP and full implementation of the report of the Senate Joint Report on the pension scam, as well as accelerated payment of all arrears of pensions to the deserving pensioners.