Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu
Communique Issued at the National Pension Commission(PenCom)’s Workshop for Finance, Insurance and Labour Correspondents and Business Editors held at Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, Cross Rivers State on November 2nd &3rd, 2016
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen
This is the communique issued at the end of the PenCom’s training
The programme was organised by PenCom as part of the Commission’s ongoing enlightenment and public education drive, aimed at increasing the level of awareness on the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and other related pension issues.
To ensure that the Nigerian media play a critical role in sensitizing the general public on pension and insurance matters.
It is also a platform to equip and update the correspondents with the knowledge of the CPS and also strengthen collaboration between PenCom and the media.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The major theme of the workshop is ‘Understanding the new corporate strategy of the pension industry’. The workshop also covers wide range of issues related to pensions.
Welcome address was presented by the Director General PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who was represented by the Commissioner, Inspectorate, PenCom, Professor Mohammed Kaoje.
The papers presentation were done by PenCom facilitators and a media practitioner. The topics discussed includes; PRA 2014: Matters Arising; Understanding the Investment of the Pension Fund and Pension Funds for Economic Development: Investing Pension Fund for Infrastructure.
The topics covered on the second day includes; Understanding Micro Pension Scheme features, Prospects and Expectations; Benefits Payment Arrangement under the CPS and the Role of the Media in Reporting Pension Industry.
The participants applauded PenCom for organising the seminar, as part of its sensitisation exercise to deepen pension penetration and reportage in the country. The participants believe that with increased pension education and sensitisation on CPS and micro pension, the target of 20 million pension contributors by 2019, is achievable.
1. To adequately capture the informal sector, there is the need for pension industry to carry out lots of enlightenment campaigns on the scheme through trade associations and unions, while media has a greater roles to play in pension propagation.
2. Pension operators must be aggressive in the marketing of pension products and services, so as to grow the pension contributors to 20 million by 2019. Here, there is a call for attractive incentives for subscribers so that more people can key into this scheme.
3. The need to drive the pension scheme through information technology is regarded as germane to its success.
4. Moreover, there is the need for consistency in government policies to coordination and investment of pension assets in infrastructure.
5. There is the need for bankable projects to enable pension operators invest in infrastructure.
6. Reliable investment templates should be developed for injection of pension funds in real sector.
7. For pension fund to be invested in energy sector, there is the need for correct and adequate database of power users.
8. Insurance and pension operators as well as regulators are expected to address the issue of demarketing of Programmed Withdrawals and Annuity.
9. The media are required to verify every information they have on pension matters before reporting it their various media, as bad information can lead to negative perception about pension. Balanced and fair reporting, according to the participants, are what is needed to enhance the sensitisation and understanding of the scheme.
We, the media, has agreed that there is still low awareness on pension matters, hence calling for improved awareness by relevant stakeholders on the CPS, so as to grow the pension assets and contributors.
The training has provided more clarity and deepened our media knowledge as journalists about the Contributory Pension Scheme. We shall therefore apply the knowledge acquired to enlighten the Nigerian public about pension issues.
We have also realized that a lot of misconceptions about pension stem more from lack of education and sensitization about its workings.
The regulator is equally mandated to extend enforcement of pension scheme to media houses so that they can remit monthly contributions as and when due.
PenCom has been advised to set aside 1-5 per cent of its annual budget for media workshop, seminars and other forms of trainings.
PenCom was also asked to carry the media along in its foreign travels and seminars in order to broaden their knowledge and create news for the media.