The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has warned the Federal Government against borrowing about N2 trillion from the pension fund to augment infrastructural development, condemning the move as unnecessary and an attempt to frustrate contributors.
Its Director-General, Dr. Timothy Olawale, told The Nation: “The idea of the pension fund of workers is to guarantee a meaningful and modest life after employment. It is, therefore, unacceptable for government, for whatever reason, to dip into the funds without taking into cognisance the regulations guiding investment of the pension fund and consultation with stakeholders.”
While expressing concerns over the fate of workers in the face of incessant borrowing by government at all levels without corresponding development, the NECA DG averred that it was unthinkable for the government to borrow from the pension fund when its citizens had not felt the impact of the mounting debts of government.
“What is paramount to contributors and other stakeholder alike is the safety of the fund, which, unfortunately, government cannot guarantee. The action of government has the potential to threaten the scheme and erode contributors’ confidence,” he said.
Olawale noted that the pension scheme was known as the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), involving contributions by employers and employees, without contributions from government.
“One wonders why the government would take such a fundamental decision solely, without due consultation with representatives of employers and employees – who are key stakeholders and recognised by law to be on the board of PenCom,” he said.
Olawale added that, while NECA supports investment in infrastructural development, the government should utilise the recovered Abacha loot and other recovered/forfeited stolen funds for infrastructural development and not dip into the pension fund.