Nigeria’s pension assets are currently worth over N8.5trillion, the Acting Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Hajia Aisha Dahir-Umar, has said.
The Pencom boss who spoke yesterday at the Commission’s sixth conference for directors of pension operators held in Lagos, said the formation of long term domestic capital, represented by the over N8.5 trillion worth of pension assets, is slowly but surely changing Nigeria’s financial landscape and by extension the course and pace of our socio-economic development.
She said the transformation has placed a huge responsibility on your shoulders as directors of the entities that administer the pension funds and assets, pointing out that it underscores the necessity of continuous discourse on the subjects of corporate governance and sustainable investment in the pension industry, especially with the introduction of the multi-fund structure, in the month of July this year.
She said: “As you are aware, the pension reform has been very impactful in Nigeria since the beginning of its implementation in 2004. The major visible areas of this impact are the economic and social spheres.
“In the social sphere, the Commission is finalizing arrangements for the introduction of the Micro Pension Plan, which seeks to extend the benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme to the informal sector. We hope to achieve this latest by the first quarter of 2019 and we believe that the product would be part of the efforts towards ensuring in the long term, the sustainability of the Federal Government’s social empowerment programme.
“It is appropriate at this juncture, to draw your attention to certain unfolding developments in the pension subsector in Nigeria. Perhaps, due to the modest successes recorded in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme, there is increasing clamour by pension contributors to redirect their retirement savings towards the resolution of other social problems, such as health, unemployment and other similar challenges. Indeed, the year 2017 was particularly difficult for the industry as we had to contend with several Bills before the National Assembly seeking to distort or dismantle the Contributory Pension Scheme.