The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has kicked against the deployment of pension funds for government services to the detriment of the workers it is meant to serve.
The former Edo State Governor, who spoke at the opening of a presidential policy dialogue at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday, said the logic of setting up the Pension Commission (PENCOM) was to cater to workers’ welfare in retirement but the funds are now being diverted including to finance budget deficits.
He said this is wrong as it jeopardizes the future of the poor worker.
Oshiomhole said: “The logic behind introducing the pension scheme under PENCOM, was that the workers social capital that they deducted every month which they would not need to draw on until they retire about 30 years or 35 years later, provide a basis for long term fund.
“Happily, PENCOM has generated over five to six trillion Naira since it commenced operation. Unfortunately, the money is borrowed by the government both federal and state and unfortunately it is not available to address the social purpose of the working people whose contributions the pension fund evolved.
“I asked our expert to recognise that the primary purpose of the workers social capital is that it would be creatively managed and deployed to workers social needs including housing, education and all the other factors.
“It wasn’t meant to fund the government’s deficit, it wasn’t meant to support the federal government deficit, it was meant to address the primary social purpose of those who work. So that they are sure that by the time they finish their employment that they are retired, they have a modest home to retire to.
“I think we must visit these issues, address them because this president if he has opposition, it is among the rich, if he has supporters it is among the poor. The poor people’s money must be used to address the critical challenges of the poor.
“May God drive our thoughts, our processes and rejig everything so that at the end of the day, those people would say yes sai baba! We elected him, we trusted him and he has delivered.”