By Bisi Adedayo,Ilorin
The World Vice President of Global Industrial Union, Comrade Issa Aremu has said that for Nigeria to overcome her current economic recession, government must increase its wage bill of its Workforce.
Comrade Aremu made the observation in Ilorin at the Weekend, while speaking at the interactive forum between the Kwara State House of Assembly and organized Labour Unions on the Contributory Pension Scheme before the Legislature.
The former Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, explained that workers’ purchasing power had reduced drastically, thereby adversely affecting other sectors of the economy.
Aremu noted that unless there is a new wage regime in the country, the Contributory Pension Scheme would not be a reality and the nation would continue to wallow in economic recession.
The labour unionist who cited the Central Bank of Nigeria report to justify his position, said the country needed a new wage regime to keep the nation’s economy, praising the legislature for organizing the discussion forum.
He said the Contributory Pension Scheme would enhance life after retirement for workers and enjoined the lawmaker to be fair in its passage of the bill, to make it practicable and sustainable.
In his submission, the Chairman of the Kwara NLC, Comrade Yekeen Agunbiade observed among other things, that it would be difficult to deduct 8% minimum mandatory contribution from the meagre salary of workers, due to loan repayment by workers, decline in federal allocation, thereby making it unrealistic for the state government to key into the programme now.
Aremu, therefore, suggested that the commencement date for the scheme should be July 1, 2014, to give room for proper planning and transitional arrangement by the state government.
The Zonal Head of the National Pension Commission in Kwara, Dr. Babatunde Alayande who traced the origin of the scheme in Nigeria, enumerated its advantages, if the state adopts its implementation.
Dr. Alayande disclosed that his office could not give the needed technical advice immediately, the were yet to have access to the bill forwarded to the State House of Assembly.
Declaring the Interactive Session open, the Speaker, Dr. Ali Ahmad said the interactive session was convened by the House to harvest labour’ opinions on the bill and assured that the House under his leadership had no vested interest, but to enact practicable law that would be acceptable to all Civil Servants in the State.
Earlier, the Chairman House Committee on Establishment and Training, Hon. Emmanuel Abodunrin had restated the commitment of the house to legislate on the new pension scheme that would be embraced by all.
He said the House would not be party to any law that would go against the wish of the people and called on Stakeholders to make meaningful inputs to ensure enactment of all embracing new Pension Law in the State.
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