Our application within Trade Union Act framework, FEPPPAN tells NUP
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE crisis within the ranks of Pensioners in the country may have been put to rest following the registration of the Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Association of Nigeria, FEPPPAN, by the former Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, had kicked against the application for registration by FEPPPAN, but the newly registered pension labour centre said its application for registration was within the framework of the Trade Union Act.
FEPPPAN had applied to the Ministry of Labour and Employment to be registered as an independent union outside the existing NUP and the National Industrial Court had in its recent judgement said that the Minister of Labour can register it.
But the NUP had described the association as an illegal body and had advised the Supervising Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige not to register it.
Reacting to the NUP outburst, the interim executives of FEPPPAN said, “We are quick to assert that our application for registration of FEPPPAN is within the framework of the Trade Union Act as also confirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“So it is preposterous for a union registered and supervised by the same Ministry of Labour & Employment to consider the Honourable Minister as practicing illegality for exercising his statutory power to regroup any union.”
A statement by the General Secretary of FEPPPAN, Mr. Franklin Erinle in Abuja, maintained that its application for registration of a new pensioners’ centre was in conformity with Trade Union Act as confirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction, to the effect that it is not an illegal body.
FEPPPAN also asked the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) and all other pension related agencies to ignore what it termed “NUP tantrums”, saying that NUP has no rights to tell any government agency not to deal with her.
Stressing that FEPPPAN has come to stay, Erinle said NUP has no choice but to accept its existence in good faith as the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, accepted the Trade Union Congress, TUC.
According to the statement, “The Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN) wish to react to the insinuations in the press conference of the NUP held on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at it’s National Secretariat Abuja.
“It is also self-serving of the NUP to refer to members of FEPPPAN who are legally seeking Government recognition for effectiveness as splinter group.
“We wish to state that there is no organ called “NUP Parastatals and Contributory Pensioners” in the NUP Constitution. As such, the individuals assembled to issue the Communique denying ASU’s severance from the NUP lack both the capacity and constitutionality to do so.
“Also it is important to note that the All Sectoral Unit (ASU) was before now an organ recognized in the NUP Constitution until the members unanimously resolved and severed from the NUP.
“It is equally noteworthy that Comrade Emeka Njoku who read the NUP Communique was part of the decision taken at the ASU meeting in Lagos on May 8, 2019 which was reflected in a Communique issued after the meeting.
“FEPPPAN hereby call on NUP to accept this Pensioners Association in good faith just as the NLC accepted the TUC.”
The Association also recalled a communique unanimously signed at the end of NUP All Sectoral Units (ASU) meeting, where all federal parastatals and private sector pensioners severed ties with NUP headquarters.
Accordingly, the communique stated; “A communiqué of the Executive Committees of former members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, All Sectoral Units issued after our meeting with representatives of NUP at the NCAA Pensioners Office, Old Local Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on May 08, 2019.
“We met and agreed thus: That henceforth, all ties with the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, National Headquarters both at Abuja and Ibadan are permanently severed. That, with immediate effect, no deductions from the pension of our members, as check-off dues, should go to the Nigeria Union of Pensioners.
“That we adopt the Interim leadership of the newly approved Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN) as our leaders, as we consider each and all the Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners present at today’s meeting as bona fide members of FEPPPAN.”