Ebonyi Labour unions reject Dave Umahi’s new pension bill

David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

The Ebonyi state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) have rejected the new pension bill recently signed into law by Governor Dave Umahi.

The new pension law in the state, which was signed by Governor Umahi last Tuesday is aimed at establishing a uniformed set of rules, regulations and standard in the administration and payment of retirement benefits to civil and public servants in the State.

But addressing journalists in Abakaliki, the Chairman of NLC, Ikechukwu Nwafor, TUC Chairman, Michael Nwonu and their JPSNC counterpart, Patrick Ekwe, said the bill did not meet the provisions of the pension reform Act 2014 as amended before it was passed into law.

The organised labour alleged that workers salaries were deducted before signing the bill into law without first creating Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) for the workers where funds deducted from their salaries for the contributory pension scheme would be paid into.

Consequently, they accused the State government of violating the provisions of the pension reform act by contributing 5% for the workers pension and the workers contributing 8% and called on the government to go back to the drawing board.

The organised labour said: “We wish to appreciate the move to commence contributory pension scheme in Ebonyi state by the state government for civil and public servants.

“The government has decided to go straight in deducting workers salaries without following the due process which is also against the financial rules of this country. We are calling on the state government to immediately hold on while the whole processes are completed and the bill be amended for government to contribute 10% while workers contribute 8%. This is the position of workers of Ebonyi state.

On his part, the TUC Chairman, Nwaonu while calling on the State Government to follow the due process before signing the bill into law decried stated: “The processes of implementing contributory pension scheme were not followed at all. The issue of deduction of workers salaries in respect to the pension scheme, which they first started before passing the law is even the 8th steps. There are so many other steps that should be followed before deducting the workers’ salaries”.

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