By Adunola Oladapo –
The National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has stated that 177,000 unemployed in the country have accessed 25 per cent of their pension contribution.
The Director-General (DG) of PenCom, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who disclosed this to journalists at the ongoing workshop in calabar by PENCOM for finance, labour correspondents and business editors, stated further that Pension Fund has hit N5.963trillion.
She however assured that the fund has been invested in structured and safe financial instruments, adding that it has in its record, registration of 7.2 million pension contributors; 170,000 retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS); amongst others.
She said these modest milestones, notwithstanding the implementation of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, were not bereft of challenges.
“We cannot overemphasize that the relative success of the implementation of the PRA 2014 could largely be attributed to the fundamental structures upon which the CPS was built.
“Indeed, the cardinal principle of separation of custody from management and supervision of pension funds has resulted in a pension scheme with sound internal mechanism for transparency and accountability.
“Whereas the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) manage the pension funds, they do not have access to same, since custody is vested in the Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs), while the Commission ensures both parties adhere strictly to regulations governing the pension funds.
“Indeed, some issues were noted in the course of implementation since the PRA 2014 and this underscored the imperative for a comprehensive review of the PRA in order to consolidate on the Pension Reform,” she said.
She said the re-enactment of the PRA in July 2014 provided a sound basis to guide the second decade of the Nigerian Pension Reform.
The PRA 2014 sought to ensure that more tangible benefits accrue to retirees towards a more blissful retirement.
“As we seek to increase registered pension contributors to at least 20 million by the year 2019, informal sector participation through the Micro Pension Plan is expected to provide impetus.
“The Commission has also enhanced its support to the States in facilitating their adoption and implementation of the CPS by providing a bespoke technical assistance, through our State Operations Department and Zonal Offices in each of the 6 geo-political Zones,” she said.