The Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Issa Aremu on Monday assured aggrieved workers who subscribed to a failed NLC housing scheme, that their monies would be refunded with interest and an apology.
Aremu said this while on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, noting that the NLC had the responsibility to do so and also prosecute those culpable in the scam, adding that the reputation of the NLC was at stake.
NLC had in 2013 asked workers to subscribe to the housing scheme which reportedly led to the Congress collecting over N3 billion from workers across the country.
Last week, aggrieved subscribers to the failed NLC Housing Scheme disrupted a forum hosted by the Congress, accusing the President, Abdulwahed Omar of stealing their money and demanding a refund.
“Nigerian Labour Congress has deceived Nigerian workers for close to three years”, one of the aggrieved persons said, addressing the gathering.
“They are sitting on our money. Close to four billion naira”, he added, noting that the NLC which was supposed to be an advocate of peace, justice and equity had “decided to defraud the Nigerian workers.
Another protester disclosed to Channels Television that she had pumped in almost N2 million into the scheme, in order to get a duplex, but had been unable to get her house or money for more than a year and a half.
Describing the incident as ‘unfortunate’, Aremu, who was a guest on Sunrise Daily, claimed the crisis was caused by a “lack of respect for due diligence and due process” on the part of NLC.
He explained that NLC had partnered with a developer to provide mass houses for subscribers but they had not carried out investigations into the capacity and competence of the developer.
However, it appears there may be a new twist to the story as Mr Aremu hinted that some subscribers may have paid into wrong accounts, noting that the developer had opened a separate account, “without the authorisation of the NLC”.
“Our finding here is that those who paid legitimately into the account the NLC opened, the fund is intact. “It was when we discovered that this parallel account was going on that the trigger for us to revisit the entire process started”, he said.
He has however assured the workers that the leadership was ready to start the process of refunding, as it has taken the decision to prosecute the developer who is now allegedly at large.
The case has since been reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and an internal inquiry will also be carried out to fish out those involved in the process.