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Chuks Udo Okonta
Of the about 46.49 million employed persons working in the formal sector of Nigeria, just 9.4 million of them had subscribed to the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), leaving a whopping of 37.09 million of them out the scheme.
Data obtained from World Bank, stated that 10 per cent of Nigeria’s working class are in the formal sector, adding that this amounted to 46.49 million people.
Also data obtained from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) stated that the number of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders as at July 2021 was 9.4 million.
The pension sector regulator noted that 19,000 retirement savings account holders joined the contributory pension scheme between January to July 2021.
According to pension industry watchers, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) need to re-double their efforts and engage on aggressive marketing to bring these people into the scheme, which was established to help plan their future.
In spite the huge number of workers aside the scheme, the system has continued to record great success.
This is evidence by the contributions from the retirement savings account holders and return on investment made by operators which had helped to accumulate over N12.8 trillion fund assets.
PenCom noted that over N470 billion was injected into the fund in seven months, ranging from January to July 2021.
It was observed that the pension fund asset stood at N12.31 trillion as at December 31, 2020 and soared to N12.78 trillion by July 31, 2021, revealing a difference of N470 billion.
Funds generated from the scheme have also continued to impact difference sectors of the economy.
On investment side, N8.13 trillion was invested in federal government securities as at December 2020, while N8.20 trillion was invested by July 2021.
PenCom also noted that as at December 2020, N136.59 billion was invested in state government securities, N1.69 trillion in local money market, while N89.68 billion was invested in state government securities in July 2021 and N2.11 trillion invested in local money market.
Speaking on progress made so far, Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said it is pertinent to reassure stakeholders that the implementation of the CPS remains on course, adding that number of registered contributors under the CPS has continue to grow while pension fund assets have accumulated to N12.78 trillion as at July 31 2021.
She submitted that the maintenance of a consistent growth trajectory continues to justify the Commission’s overriding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.