Kwara stakeholders March cautiously on new pension law
Stakeholders in Public Services Matters have expressed divergent views, on the desirability of the new Contributory Pension Scheme bill, pending before the Kwara State House of Assembly, for passage into law.
The affected stakeholders voiced their views while participating at a technical session organized by the State House of Assembly on the New Contributory Pension Scheme bill.
The Organized Labour Unions and Pensioners in the state expressed reservation on the proposed law, pointing out that it would further impoverish workers in the state, if passed into law.
They said that insincerity of government, indiscipline in the public sector and lip service being paid to Pensioners’ wellbeing and apathy among workers as well as pensioners be addressed by the state government, pointing out that pensioners under the current arrangement were owned up to N12billion by the state government.
The State Head of Service, Hajia Zahra Omar, in her submission enumerated the preparatory steps so far taken by the government to ensure that the state key into the new Pension Scheme, saying that the state government was committed to ensuring prompt payment of its monthly ten percent contribution to the scheme to further enhance the wellbeing of pensioners in the state.
She disclosed that only Officers, who have less than five years in service, would be exempted from the Scheme.
In his over view of the new Pension Scheme, the North Central Zonal head of the National Pension Commission, Dr. Babatunde Alayande who enumerated the benefits, the safety measures and circumstances necessitating the Scheme allayed the fears of workers in the State, that the proposed law would address all inadequacies in the old Pension Scheme.
Declaring the technical session open, the Speaker, Dr. Ali Ahmad, said the need to pass people oriented, practicable, sustainable good laws necessitated the technical session, to shed light on sundry issues, which according to him, were not clear to majority of Stakeholders and restated the commitment of the House to continue to enact laws for good goverance and ensure spread of dividends of democracy.
Dr. Ali Ahmad disclosed that a committee comprising of all Stakeholders would soon visit States already implementing the Scheme, examine grey areas and come up with law that would be acceptable by all and sundry and suitable to the State.