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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has so far delivered all the major objectives of the reforms, the Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom) Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, has said.
She disclosed this at the Southsouth sensitisation conference on the impact of the Pension Reform Act 2014 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, even as she expressed worry over the partial implementation of the scheme by states in the Southsouth geopolitical zone of the country.
Represented by the Commissioner, Inspectorate of the commission, Prof. Mohammed Ka’oje, she said the scheme also makes available for the benefit of states a pool of investible funds to drive economic and infrastructural development in their respective areas and noted that the partial implementation of the scheme in the zone has denied them of the advantages that came with full compliance.
She however, said despite this development, the pension scheme under the CPS has generated N5.03 trillion worth of pension assets invested in various sectors of the economy.
“It is heartwarming to note that within a decade of the implementation of the scheme in Nigeria, the story of pension administration is changing into a positive narrative; the scheme has so far delivered all the major objectives of the reforms.
“We are proud to state that since its establishment 11 years ago, there had been no case of malpractice recorded in the administration of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria.
“In addition, the scheme has so far generated over N5.03 trillion worth of pension assets invested in various sectors of the Nigerian economy as at date,” she said.
She, however, appealed to all the states and local governments in the Southsouth region to step-up efforts at implementing the scheme in order to avail themselves and their employees the opportunities the scheme offers.
Speaking on the occasion, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by his deputy, Moses Ekpo, said the upward review of the scheme, had introduced minimum contribution rate from 15 per cent to 18 per cent from monthly emolument.
He said this will empower all employers to contribute 10 per cent, while the remaining eight per cent is made by the employee.
According him, the Reform Act also made it mandatory for employers of labour to open a Temporary Retirement Savings Account, on behalf of its employees who failed to open such account within three months after being employed.
He said the Pension Reform Act 2014 has criminalised the practice of misappropriation of pension funds by public officials.