Bimbola Oyesola and Chiamaka Ajeamo
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) yesterday said it has grown pension funds assets to N9.58 trillion as at the end of September 2019.
This is even as the number of registered contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has grown to 8.85 million.
The Acting Director General of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said this yesterday at a workshop for Journalists in Benin, adding that the growth, indeed, justifies the commission’s emphasis on the safety of pension funds as the bedrock of sustaining the CPS.
Mrs Dahir-Umar also assured all stakeholders that the pension reform was steadily on course.
She said: “These modest milestones, notwithstanding, the commission and pension operators are committed to actualising the growth potential of the pension industry.
“I am glad to inform you that we have remained focused on concluding some of the pension industry’s transformational initiatives which the commission has been pursuing.”
She explained that the theme of the workshop; “Expanding Coverage of the Pension Industry” describes the Commission’s current strategic focus to expand access to pension via the CPS, as a veritable tool for economic development.
She added that this aligned with the pension reform objective of old age poverty reduction and improvement in the welfare and general standard of living.
“The quest to expand coverage of pension is being pursued through some transformational initiatives especially the Micro Pension Plan”, she stated.
On the micro-pension,
launched in March, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari, the PenCom boss said it was designed with significant flexibility in recognition of the peculiarities of the targeted population.
She said the MPP, is targeted at the informal sector and self-employed who are not mandatorily covered under the CPS.