The House of Representatives on Thursday grilled the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and her Budget and National Planning counterpart, Udoma Udo Udoma, over the N302.4 billion pension arrears. The lawmakers demanded to know what the executive was doing to offset the outstanding pension liabilities both under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and the Contributory Pensions Scheme (CPS). While summoning the ministers last week, House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara said the ministers and heads of relevant agencies must appear before the Green Chamber to find a realistic solution to the intractable problem of outstanding pension payments. But both Adeosun and Udoma while making presentation pleaded for more time to pay the outstanding saying the Federal Government only on Wednesday paid N54 billion out of the outstanding pension arrears. Compliance from the ministry of finance and National Planning counterpart we help solve the problems of pension arrears which has cause many to be victims of various degrees of untold hardship. It has even led many to their early grave. This is good move from the chamber as part of their oversight function to see to full implementation of Government policies and programmes that is gear towards helping the masses. In a related development NUPENG stated as i quote “Stop mass sack in oil sector, NUPENG tells Fed Govt” – The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed concern over the increasing job losses in the oil and gas sector and the closure of international oil companies. Addressing reporters after its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Lagos, its National President, Comrade Igwe Achese, noted that Labour and Employment Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige’s, assurances that there was nothing reassuring in job cut would stop. The union urged the Federal Government to prevail on international oil companies (IOCs) country to stop the retrenchment. Achese said the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was majorly responsible for the rot in the industry and the slide in the returns accruable from investments by successive governments and investors. This call if not address by the government will further lead to hardship as the economy is still biting harder on the citizens. The only measure government can take is to mandate oil companies to stop the mass sack and encourage more investment in the sector, in order to create more job rather than sack. The minister of Labour and employment should do more as young graduates are passing out every year and need to be empowered.
featured image from google image.