Government Labour Unions disagree on pension scheme
Labour unions in Cross River have disagreed on the planned implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the disagreement came to fore when the union officials walked out on government officials during a planned sensitisation of the workers on the scheme in Calabar on Wednesday.
The planned sensitisation had in attendance, the national President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, and representatives of the state government, led by Secretary to the Government, Prof. Anthony Owan-Enoh.
The workers, however, attributed reasons for the walkout to insincerity on the part of the government on the scheme.
One of the union leaders who spoke with NAN, on the condition of anonymity, said the workers discovered that the government was trying to force the scheme on workers.
According to him, “We were never told about the coming of NLC National President. We were shocked to see him appear with government officials in the hall where the sensitisation was to take place.
“For us, we concluded that his presence was a plan to force workers in the state into the scheme.
“All we want is for the government to engage the workers more on the scheme before any decision will be arrived at.”
However, the government has maintained that the planned migration of the workers is for their own benefit.
Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, who spoke with NAN on the worker’s protest during the aborted sensitisation, said that Gov. Bassey Otu’s aim was to prevent a frustrating situation for retirees in the state.
“Am sure you are aware that the state has not paid gratuities since 2014 and this is primarily the concern of Gov. Otu in planning a migration to the contributory pension scheme.
He pointed out that the workers present insisted that they will not work with the three banks that have been penciled down for the scheme.
“These banks that have been engaged by the government are the ones that will ensure the sustainability of the scheme, but the labour unions are saying they have their own banks to work with.
“This is an act of parliament, moreover, it is the state government that is funding it.
“Though the planned sensitisation couldn’t take place, the government is hopeful that they see reasons with the benefit of the scheme,” he stated. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)