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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has issued compliance certificates to 83 companies to bid for Federal Government contracts this year.
PenCom noted that as at January 3, 2018, the firms had met the requirements and have been cleared.
Some of the firms are, Ghazi Shipping and Trading Company Limited, which has five employees and contributed N3.13 million; AIICO Insurance Plc, which has 264 staff in 2017, contributed N135.11 million. It was followed by Solid Trust Insurance Brokers Limited with nine staff and contributed N5.03 million. Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers Limited, has nine employees and contributed N2.42 million; Prorisk Insurance Brokers Limited, has 9 staff, contributed N2.42 million and Image Brokers Limited has 16 employees and contributed N1.51 million.
Others are, Wib Insurance Brokers Limited, three staff, contributed N855,499.58 and Denos Insurance Brokers Limited, seven staff, contributed N660,240.12; Geo-Chem West Africa Limited, 19 employees, N3.86 million; Setraco Nigeria Limited, 2839 employees, N455.05 million; North South Power Company Limited, 331 employees, N114.65 million and Oriental Energy Resources Limited, 43 employees, N41.59 million.
PenCom has also made an appeal to Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to support the certificate of compliance initiative, adding that MDAs often times accept spurious evidence of compliance from contractors and being reluctant in ensuring that companies bidding for works fulfilled their obligations relating to pensions as enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007.
PenCom noted that with effect from January 2012, private sector employers that complied with the provisions of the PRA 2014 were issued annual Certificates of Compliance, and that to be issued with the certificate, employers are required to submit evidence of remitting contributions to the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) of their employees as well as show evidence of valid group life insurance policy.
“All MDAs are required to demand for the Compliance Certificate as a requirement for transacting any business with a private sector organisations. Appropriate circulars have been issued to all MDAs in that regard.
“Also, the Commission monitors advertisements for contract by MDA to ensure that the pre-qualification criteria included evidence of compliance with the PRA 2014. In 2015, 3,620 employers were issued Compliance Certificates.
“The main reason for the low number of requests being the reluctance of MDAs to ensure that companies bidding for works have fulfilled their obligations relating to pensions as enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007,” it said.
PenCom posited that methods deployed by MDAs to avoid complying include: the exclusion of the pension requirement in the advertisement for contractors and/or acceptance of spurious evidence of compliance from the contractors.
It said that in a bid to address the lapses, it had agreed with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) that henceforth, only Certificates it issued would be the valid evidence of compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007.