The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) on Thursday advised the Federal Government to reintroduce payment of gratuity to workers under the pension Act.
The FCT Council Chairperson of AUPCTRE, Mr Benjamin Anthony, made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the union’s State Governing Council meeting held in Abuja.
It would be recalled that there had been protracted controversy over continuity in payment of gratuity after the enactment of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004.
Some employers argued that the PRA and the Contributory Pension Scheme had abolished the payment of gratuity.
However, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) insisted that gratuity had nothing to do with pension and therefore, the PRA, which had been silent on gratuity could not have been abolished.
The AUPCTRE chairperson expressed concern about the poor state of workers when they retire from civil service and appealed to the three tiers of government to look into the situation to assist retirees.
He frowned at the exclusion of certain categories of public officers from the Pension Act, saying “if government desires to exempt certain categories of workers, then the scheme has outgrown its usefulness and should therefore be abrogated with immediate effect.
“Similarly, AUPCTRE observed that workers are subjected to untold hardship in the process of obtaining Tax Clearance Certificate from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).”
He, therefore, urged government to mandate FIRS to issue tax clearance to workers whose taxes were deducted at source on monthly basis without workers coming to ask for it. (NAN)