The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has taken a stand against the inadequate state of the pension system in the country, highlighting that it has failed to address the concerns of Nigerian workers.
The NLC underscored this assertion by revealing that due to inefficiencies within the system, the police force had approached the labor congress to advocate for the removal of policemen from the country’s pension scheme.
Speaking at the pension industry roundtable in Abuja, themed ‘Strategic Dialogue to Enhance Private Sector Participation in Pension Scheme,’ NLC President Joe Ajaero expressed the need for a pension system that instills confidence and draws more individuals into participation.
He brought attention to the plight of the police force, who had sought the NLC’s intervention in order to exit the existing pension arrangement.
Ajaero emphasized, “The average policeman when we go out on the field, some of them write to us and ask us to speak on their behalf. They are workers like us and they know how it pinches.
I want to be able to use the money I’ve saved. If I cannot use the money now, will it be when I die?”
He further contended that the current pension system has not sufficiently addressed the concerns of Nigerian workers, describing it as parasitic and detrimental to the workers it should support. Ajaero cited instances where economic challenges caused the value of accumulated savings to plummet drastically, leaving workers disillusioned and their funds severely devalued.
Ajaero called for a review of the pension system, focusing on making it beneficial to workers while they are still active in their professions.
He also urged the system to become more appealing to those in the informal sector, underscoring the importance of safeguarding pension funds to ensure their integrity.
Highlighting the government’s proposal to borrow from pension funds, Ajaero expressed reservations about the proper utilization of these funds.
He suggested that making the pension system more inclusive and worker-centric could alleviate the challenges faced by workers who are currently bearing the brunt of the system’s shortcomings.
Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, the President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), noted that the roundtable was convened to assess the progress and challenges associated with the pension scheme in Nigeria.
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