Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja
The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, has said that states or employers of labour who refuse to remit money into the retirement benefit account of workers should be held for a criminal act.
Wabba spoke in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja in response to the claim by the National Pension Commission that only Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Niger, Delta, Osun and Rivers states had commenced remittance of pensions in the workers Retirement Savings Accounts. The commission said while Zamfara, Kebbi, Ondo and Anambra states had also commenced the funding of the RSAs, they were not funding the accrued rights. Wabba said that states had two retirement plan options but noted that it was a criminal offence not to credit workers’ retirement benefit account.
He said, “States have the option to continue with the Defined Benefit Scheme or transmit to the Contributory Pension Scheme. Whichever option a state adopts, it is expected that it must be funded. Many states opt to continue with the old scheme.
“We have said that it is violation of the law, particularly the Contributory Pension Act if you do not remit the workers’ contribution and that of the employers into the retirement benefit account of the workers. This should not be condoned, it should be criminalised. This is the position of the NLC on the matter.”