News Column

Contributory Pension Funds Hits N4.3 Trillion - Yola

May 28, 2014

Innocent Oweh

Pension Operators of Nigeria (PON) Chairman, Musbau Yola on Tuesday pegged contributory pension fund assets in Nigeria at N4.3trillion.

Yola gave the figure at a conference to intimate journalists on preparations for Nigeria to host the World Pension Summit scheduled to hold in Abuja from July 7, where over 55 countries would be participating to brainstorm on contemporary pension reforms.

He revealed that within a decade of the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme about six million Retirement Savings Account had been opened.

"This is a remarkable progress considering the fact that about 23.9 per cent of Nigerians are currently unemployed and the country is faced with a huge number of people working in the informal sector.

"As at March this year, the total number of people having RSA account was 5.98 million with a pension fund asset of N4.3trillion.

Meanwhile, Director General of the National Pension Commission (NPC), Chinelo Anohu-Amazu said the focus of the conference would be targeted on how to reshape the pension industry.

She said the need to reshape the sector became imperative owing to the fact that the economy had been rebased thus providing more opportunities to grow the pension industry.

She said, The focus of this world pension summit is on Africa and it will be attended by 55 countries and people will be able to discuss how to reshape the pension industry.

We have moved and redefined the pension system in Nigeria.

Six million RSA out of 160 million Nigerian is not enough, we have been building the foundation and we have done that right by setting out the basis and format of operators.

"Given the lessons from the past, we don't want to rush in moving very fast but we want to move in the right direction and that is why we are setting up adequate control mechanisms."

She expressed optimism that with the support of the world pension summit and with the foundation that the commission had established, its mandate of developing the industry would be achieved.

She said that the commission had been supporting the states to pass their pension reform bill, noting that this would help to bring more workers into the CPS.

She said, We also want to create more awareness that the pension reform law is here to stay. The states are also our focus.

"In the last one year, we have gone round to set up zonal offices and this summit will help us engage most of them."

Speaking on the choice of Nigeria as host country for the international pension conference, the Co-Founder and Chairman of the World Pension Summit,Eric Eggink said the success recorded through the Nigerian pension reform act of 2004 had become a model to other countries.

This, according to him, had been further strengthened by the country's emergence as the largest economy in Africa with a more diversified economic structure.

We are holding this in Nigeria because the power of Nigeria is very important in growing the social security system in Africa and also because of the success of the reforms of the pension industry by the federal government," he said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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