NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, has called for capital punishment for perpetrators of pension fund fraud, saying “Pension is the life line of the pensioner and any assault on this is clearly a capital offence that equals the taking of the pensioners’ life.”
President NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, At a one-day interactive session between NLC and PenCom to appraise the state of pension administration in
Nigeria, said it was alarmed and concerned with the level of fraud uncovered in the management of pension unit in the Office of Head of Service of the Federation and para-military agencies including the Police and customs.
Level of fraud uncovered
According to Omar, “the Nigeria Labour Congress is worried by the level of fraud so far uncovered in the management of pensions of some military and paramilitary Agencies including police, coming on the heels of earlier efforts to draw the members of staff of these organizations away from the Contributory Pension Scheme.
This issue of the several billions of naira pension scam perpetrated by government officials involved in the administration of pension in these organizations, and the subsequent counter allegation from the Nigerian senate is a scenario that is most unacceptable. Pension is the life line of the pensioners and any assault on this is clearly capital offence that equals the taking of the pensioners’ life, and must be taken very seriously in treating such infraction.”
”It is like sentencing those pensioners to death or life punishment.
Therefore, their punishment should be a maximum one. What we are saying is that the matter should not be treated with kid’s gloves. It is something very serious. How a few people can contrive and connived and removed billions of Naira of pensioners’ money, not even government oil money?
Today, it is like they are being allowed to roam the streets without any problem. Anyway, we will continue to watch and even though some of the cases are in the courts, but we will continue to monitor that and will make sure that a very resounding example is made of the culprits because if nothing is done to them and their cases go the same way other cases go, nobody should blame workers and particularly pensioners, when they react, the way they would react.”
Omar said NLC would encourage its affiliate unions to appoint pension desk officers, while providing Group Life Assurance policies for their employees in continuation of efforts designed to ensure greater social protection for Nigerian workers.
He said “It is one of the key issues in this interactive session. We are going to fashion out ways of approaching employers who have refused to remit the deductions of employees to get them to see reason to remit appropriately, but if they don’t, of course they have to bear the brunt.
The laws must be visited on them and they must bear it. It is my hope that through the instrumentality of this interaction, we shall be enriched with the perspective that will ensure that the thrust of pension administration in our country is able to flow with current thinking in service delivery.”