Make retirement easy for workers, NLC urges FG, states

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President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Joe Ajaero, has urged the Federal Government to make retirement easy for Nigerian workers, especially now that the country is facing economic challenges.
Ajaero made the plea on Wednesday when he received a delegation from the XEM Consulting Limited, a subsidiary of XEM Group, organisers of the maiden Pre-retirement Summit, scheduled to hold in Abuja, from April 24 to April 25.

The visiting team was led by Dr Eugenia Ndukwe, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of XEM Group.

Ajaero said that a lot had been said about contributory pension without significant improvement from the regulators.

“Majority of the states have not started keying in, and one begins to wonder the essence of enacting a law.

“Even when the law criminalised none participation, no state has been prosecuted, fined or levied,” he said.

Ajaero regretted that pension matters in the country was becoming more of rhetorics rather than action.

He, therefore, urged the federal and state governments to take seriously the issue of workers pension and ensure they enjoy life after retirement.

“Government in this business is not just employers of labour, they are regulators, and if regulators are not doing anything, then there is problem.

“We are the main victims; even when people retire, the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) find it difficult to pay them, thereby making it a difficult long journey to access their money,” Ajaero added.

Speaking earlier during the visit, Ndukwe who is also a business development expert, said there would be opportunity at the summit to train prospective retirees on various skills, before they retire.

She said the summit was carefully planned to examine the retirement policies in the country, the challenges faced by prospective retirees and proffer a solution to it before they retire.

Ndukwe also said that experts from China, Canada and some European countries would be attending the summit to give their country’s perspective on pension reforms.

This, she said would be to find solutions to the challenges faced by retirees in Nigeria.

“We are bringing global participants to tell us what is happening in their countries, so that we will know how to utilise their own case study. Head of Service of the Federation will be the keynote speaker.

“Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu will be in attendance during the panel session to represent all the state governors, while Mr Adewale Tinubu, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, will be representing the private sector.

“We will also have the MD of Smart Meters Malam Ibrahim Babagana will also participate in the panel session.

“The second phase of the programme will be the technical session where participants will be taken through knowledge and skill acquisition that will help them prepare for retirement.

“They will know how best to invest their money, the kind of businesses they can venture into after retirement and what decision they can make with the little money they have available.

“The third phase of the programme is the award. We want to recognise very few states, individuals, public servants who have contributed immensely to the reforms currently taking place around pension matters,” Ndukwe said.

She added that the summit was open for government, private and public sector workers as well as financial institutions, labour unions, pension fund administrators and civil society organisations.
(NAN)

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