By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
As the controversy continues to rage on over the sack and whereabouts of former Presidential Taskforce Chairman on Pension, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, a member of the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to put all efforts on ground that would strengthen the National Pension Commission(PENCOM) and Pension Transitional Advancement Directorate(PTAD) to avoid the mistakes of the past on the management of pension funds.
Aremu, who is also the General Secretary of the National Union of Textiles, Garments and Tailoring Workers Union (NUTGTWN), gave the advice in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, over the weekend while speaking with journalists shortly after the meeting of the fourth delegate national conference of the women wing of the union.
According to him, “I want to say that if the issue of Maina could happen at all under him (Buhari) it shows that corruption is not only fighting back but corruption is terribly fighting back and the president should primarily place effort on preventing such act rather than cure it.”
He added: “Maina crisis is not just about Maina but about us, Nigerians, because at the end of our working life, we must retire. If the pension funds that we are saving are not safe, and this millions are taken away by some few people in the country, then all efforts must be put on ground to secure the protection of workers’ pension.
“I want to state today that our union, NUTGTWN, affiliates of the NLC, is fully in support of Maina sack as well as get him prosecuted by the EFCC, and aside that, the interesting thing in this saga is the way he had his way through the service among other controversies, and investigations still continue.
“But it was cleared that the Attorney General of the Federation was reportedly said to be the brain behind the raising of that memo for him to be reinstated and to be posted to the Federal Ministry of Interior under Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau (rtd). But what is interesting to me is the role of the Head of Service(HoS), who as a woman, was bold in her memo that it was wrong to have reinstated Maina into the service.
“I have listened to all the controversies and Maina too has revealed how money is being shared by some people, though the people had accused him of stealing money and also accused some people too of stealing money and that they are confessing is not our problem but as a labour movement in this country, we call on President Buhari that he should strengthen the pension institutions in order to prevent any future occurrence of mismanaging of pension funds.”
The labour leader also called on the PENCOM management to come out and tells Nigerians its defence on the ongoing raging issue of pension scam allegedly perpetrated by Maina in order to guide the people of the country on the matter.