• Saturday, June 15, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Contributory pension assets now N16.76trn

Contributory pension assets now N16.76trn

Nigeria’s contributory pension assets climbed to N1.77 trillion by the first of 2023 with total contributors of ten million people, Aisha Dahir-Umar, the director-general of National Pension Commission (PenCom).

Figures released by the PenCom to journalists show that the pension asset rose from N14.99 trillion in December 2022 to N16.76 trillion in the first six of 2023, while the number of contributors increased from 9.86 million to ten million following the signing on of additional 146 contributors within the period under review.

These figures, Dahir-Umar believed were still below expectations given Nigeria’s estimated population of over 200m, the volume of economic activities, and the huge working class – just as she encouraged more public and private sector employers to sign their employees onto the scheme.

The contributory pension scheme (CPS) was introduced in Nigeria in 2004 under former President Olusegun Obasanjo and its enabling Act was subsequently reviewed in 2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan. The new scheme became necessary to address challenges that were associated with the old pension scheme, a major one being inadequate funding (especially by the government), leading to retirees and pensioners having to wait for years to receive their entitlements.

Read also: Consul General lauds growing US-Nigeria pact in creative industry

At a media workshop in Lagos on Thursday, Dahir-Umar, represented by Abdulqadir Dahiru, director, corporate communications, PenCom, said the CPS which, by law, requires both the employer and employees to contribute into the employee’s retirement saving account (RSA), has substantially eliminated the challenges of the past and ensured financial security for retirees.

The theme of the workshop organised by PenCom was “Transforming service delivery in the pension industry: Strategies for improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

The DG said the workshop became imperative to increase the knowledge and understanding of the CPS and its positive impacts on contributors and retirees.

“It is also an occasion to interact with the media and discuss developments shaping Nigeria’s pension landscape,” said Dahir-Umar.

To further strengthen the operations of the scheme and deliver a more satisfactory service, the DG said PenCom has created a Consumer Protection Department (CPD). The new department, according to her, underscores the commission’s resolve to continually prioritise service delivery and provide RSA holders with the care and attention they deserve.

“It reflects PenCom’s commitment to continuous service improvement in the pension industry so that contributors and retirees receive the best possible experience,” she added.