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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has identified poor wages to accommodate reasonable pension deductions; general poor compliance culture; weak economy which saw the pension contributions as a huge additional cost of doing business in Nigeria; and more as challenges clogging the implementation of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
The commission said this in a presentation made to the National Assembly recently. It also named getting eligible employers to join the CPS; inadequate funding of the RSAs as and when due and lack of data on eligible private sector organisations as limitations.
“The efforts of the Commission at recovery are not without its unpleasant experiences. There abound situations where officers of the Commission and the Recovery Agents are accosted with hostility in the conduct of their assignments. Oftentimes, some were not assisted with relevant information.
“Attempts by the Commission to directly intervene often elicit no responses until litigation is commenced. Some organizations often insinuate grand collusion to defraud them of the determined sums meant for their employees. Some of the organizations lay claim to alleged witch-hunt when prosecuted for non-compliance,” it said.
It noted that as at 2014, 243 employers that failed to remit outstanding pension contributions and established penalties have been subjected to legal action and are at different stages of prosecution at the National Industrial Court.
Pencom called on the Members of the House Committee to note the dire need for all stakeholders to continue to cooperate and support the Commission in ensuring compliance with the PRA 2014.
“Indeed the National Assembly as a critical stakeholder in the pension reform process, is earnestly requested to assist to lend its support for compliance drive in both the public and private sectors in Nigeria, in order to bring to the contributors the direct and remote benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme,” it said.