Over 100 subscribers of the housing scheme initiated by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and a developer, Kriston Lally, on Thursday in Abuja disrupted the debate organised for leaders of political parties.
The debate was organised by the NLC in conjunction with Civil Society Organisations.
The subscribers, who invaded the venue of the debate, carried different placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “NLC has failed Nigerian workers,” “NLC no refund, no peace,” “NLC pay us our money,” “NLC no money, no debate.”
The spokesperson of the subscribers, David Oluwole, told journalists that the NLC was owing over 2,355 Nigerian workers who subscribed to the scheme over N4 billion.
He said: “We are representing the interest of thousands of workers that had been defrauded by the NLC.
“We want to set things right; we have been lied to for years now.
“The NLC had in 2013 rolled out publication inviting Nigerian workers to subscribe to an affordable housing scheme which a lot of us applied for.
“Up till now, nobody is saying anything about the scheme; they are owing us over N4 billion; a lot of people collected loans to subscribe to the scheme.
“Some of the subscribers have even died and their wives are being made to present death certificates to process their claims.
“The NLC is expected to protect workers and not to defraud them. ‘’
Mr. Oluwole said that officials of the NLC claimed the monies paid by the subscribers was deposited in a bank and would be refunded to them.
“What stop them from paying us?” he asked.
Mr. Oluwole called on NLC president, Abdulwheed Omar, to refund their monies before the expiration of his tenure next week since he was the initiator of the scheme.
The NLC in a statement signed by Peter Ozo-Eson, its Secretary General, apologized to the subscribers for the delay in getting their refund.
He said the process to refund their monies was being frustrated by the Managing Director of Kriston-Lally, Mustapha Madawaki.
“In order to solve this problem, we are working with security agencies including the Department of State Security Services and the Office of the National Security Adviser.
“We are certain the security agencies would ensure he (Mustapha) sign all the necessary documents that would facilitate the release of subscribers’ monies.
“We share in the frustration and pain of the subscribers; we feel pained that an otherwise noble project of this nature could lead to this,” Mr. Ozo-Eson said.