The organised labour in Kogi State has washed its hands off the Agric-Business Alternative Retirement Investment Scheme (AARIS) in which 8,000 workers have indicated interest.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Onu Edoka, made the clarifications while speaking to journalists on Tuesday in Lokoja.
He said that the investment scheme was being handled by the state government and a private firm, Oil Palm Plantation Development Advocacy Network (OPPDDAN).
Edoka also dismissed insinuation that the organised labour was frustrating the scheme, saying that the role of the labour was to protect the interest of workers.
He also said the organised labour was not demanding gratification to support the scheme as being insinuated in some quarters,
Under the scheme, OPPDDAN is expected to facilitate a N1.5 million loan for each of the beneficiaries.
Out of the amount, workers will receive N500,000 while the balance of N1 million will be invested in the oil palm plantation.
Speaking on the matter, the Coordinator of the scheme, Mr Joseph Idoko, explained that the scheme was not a scam as being rumoured.
He said that 8,000 workers from ministries, departments and agencies of the state government and state owned tertiary institutions had indicated interest in the scheme
According to him, 6, 000 of the applicants are from the state ministries, departments and agencies, while the remaining are the state owned tertiary institutions.
Idoko explained that each of the participants paid N1,200, saying that the amount was expression of interest fee which is non-refundable.
” The scheme is not a scam as being circulated on the social media. The assumed N10 billion has not been approved or released as being speculated,” he said.
Idoko also exonorated his organisation from the allegation that labour leaders were demanding gratification to buy into the project, saying labour was only invited to be part of the meeting being critical stakeholders.
While appealing to workers to exercise patience, Idoko said that the Central Bank of Nigeria and project finance institutions were repackaging the scheme to facilitate early approval and release of funds.(NAN)