Head, Contributions Bond Redemption Department, National Pension Commission, Lona Loyinmi; Head, Corporate Communications, Peter Aghahowa and Member of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Office, Asman Mustapha at the event in Lagos.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has taken the bold step to tackle issues that are clogging the progress of contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Commission, yesterday in Lagos, gathered Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) of MDAs mainly from the South West zone of the country, to educate them on how to handle workers nominal rolls and the workings of the CPS to enable them improve on their services and educate other employees in their organisations.
Head, Contributions Bond Redemption Department, PenCom, Lona Loyinmi, while declaring the workshop open, said the event was organised to educate the PDOs and get first hand information from them on areas of challenges in carrying out their duties.
Director and Head, Corporate Communications Department, Peter Aghahowa, said the commission expects the PDOs to be able to operate seamlessly and manage pension matters within their ministries, parastatals and agencies even before they escalate to PenCom and Pension Fund Administrations (PFAs).
“As part of our enlightenment program, we are meeting with the PDOs in the South West zone as we have done in some other parts of the country. They are crucial stakeholders in the Scheme so we have to use this kind of event to educate them on the developments in pension industry.
“It is also a good session to get feedback from them because they are the pension officers in different institutions and they interact with the employees directly. This is why we take the workshop very seriously. It is important to us so that we can bring them up to date with the developments and they can also have the opportunity to get clarification on various issues,” he said.
Explaining the delays in pension payment and non remittance of monthly contributions, he said: “With regards to remittance. you know that the contributions are done monthly. Yes there are challenges but if you look at where we are coming from to where we are now, you will see that there has been considerable improvements. And this is one of the reasons we have this event with the MDAs.
“The government remittances are done mostly by PenCom while pension contributions are deducted from the source and these monies are sent to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). But the way it works for us to effectively remit the contributions is that we must get the workers nominal role. We have monies in our accounts that belong to individuals. We want to know who has the contributions and so if we don’t get the nominal roles, we are not able to remit the contributions to the individuals they belong to. So there has to be a very good synergy among the agencies that work with the contributors. For example, PenCom itself, the different agencies and the CBN where the monies are kept,” he said.
Aghahowa posited that at the end of the workshop, the commission expects the PDOs majorly to be better informed, stressing that when they are better informed, they will impact the knowledge on the employees in their various institutions and that this would help to ensure better understanding of the Scheme.