May Day: Anambra NLC Tasks Soludo on Pension for Retirees, as Gov Shuns March Past

By Ikeugonna Eleke

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Anambra State Chapter, has tasked the state governor on regular payment of pension to retirees in the state.

The state chairman of NLC, Emeka Nwafor, made the call during the Workers’ Day Celebration on Monday at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, the Anambra State capital.

Nwafor decried the condition of pensioners in the state, saying that many of them were dying without being paid their retirement benefits.

This is coming as the governor refused to observe the march past by the various groups comprising the state’s workforce, before leaving the arena.

Nwafor in his address said: ‘It is on record that since 2014 that the Contributory Pension Scheme started in the state, it seems that the scheme was designed not to succeed as monies deducted from workers’ salaries were not remitted regularly to the appropriate quarters.

‘The non- adherence to the Pension Scheme Laws has made the organized labour to take a stand that the scheme be scrapped and monies deducted from workers refunded to them.

‘We remind you, Mr Governor sir, that this decision is yet to see the light of the day. Congress therefore requests for our dear Governor’s pronouncement, stopping further deductions from workers’ salaries in the name of the Pension scheme.

‘Congress passionately appeals to you Mr. Governor sir, to graciously increase the fund meant for the settlement of these gratuities to be substantial enough.

‘This is to enable the retirees to start off something that will help them take care of their old age and families. It is painful to report that some of these retirees are dying of hunger and, most times, they find it difficult to take care of their families and dependents.’

The congress further stated that the state had not maintained full payment of the New Minimum Wage that was passed into law in 2019.

It said, ‘Congress desires to bring to your kind attention that the New Minimum Wage of N30, 000 and its consequential adjustment has not been fully implemented in the state.’

Meanwhile, the governor was said to have practically abandoned the workers, after his speech.

Soludo had responded to the address by the NLC Chairman, and while the various groups consisting the state’s workforce were getting prepared for the march past, the governor’s exit was announced.

A leader of one of the unions said: ‘That was very degrading to the workers. All the practice that was geared at impressing the governor, he just abandoned everyone and left.’