‘Non-remittances posing serious threat to contributory pension scheme’

The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba PHOTO: NAN

The non-remittance of counterpart funds by employers is posing a serious threat to the contributory pension scheme, Trustfund Pensions Limited has said.A director with the organisation, Ayuba Wabba, who raised the alarm during its yearly general meeting (AGM) in Abuja, said the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had directed its affiliates and partners to compile names of defaulting firms for engagement

Wabba, who doubles as NLC president, said: “In my visit to some of our sectoral unions, I urged them to follow up on the employers that deduct but fail to remit with a view to ensuring that the right thing is done for the benefit of the working class. Where any employer refuses to comply, the national secretariat will step in. It is criminal for any employer not to remit deducted money because the law makes it compulsory for everyone to remit pension funds.”

He lauded the Managing Director of Trustfund, Mrs. Helen Da-Souza, for ensuring that the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) does not only stay afloat, but also make profits in this suffocating business environment further aggravated by recession.

Wabba went on: “Despite the challenges in the economy, I think that Trustfund has done very well considering the benchmark that has been set. There are challenges with the remittances of deducted funds, especially by employers, including state governments as they often fail to remit these funds. Trustfund is able to overcome the challenges because of the ownership structure of the organisation.

Labour’s presence on the board of ensures that the policies and operations of the organisation are tailored towards enhancing the well-being of Nigerian workers and guarantee maximum returns on investments. The ownership structure, which comprises government, employers and workers, obviously makes Trustfund workers’ preferred PFA and we urge them to continue to support the PFA because they have their representatives on the board whose primary job is to secure their future investments.”

The NLC helmsman explained that the N2.7 trillion, approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to clear the backlog of pensions, was also to cater outstanding promotion allowances.

Wabba also debunked the insinuations that the pension fund, currently over N6 trillion, was idling away in National Pensions Commission (Pencom) covers.He further said: “The pension fund has been over-borrowed through bonds and treasury bills by government. The money is not idle and Nigerians must know this. The money is being invested because it belongs to workers and government has been the major beneficiary of the fund.”

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