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Chuks Udo Okonta
Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has rekindled its commitments with journalists toward deepening pension penetration in the country through increased awareness and sensitisation to enable the public, embrace the Contributory Pension Scheme(CPS).
President of PenOp, Wale Odutola, while speaking on the vision and plans of the new executives of association, at the 2020 PenOp Virtual Media Retreat organised for pension Correspondents yesterday, said the operators are planning with great optimism to change the narratives of the pension industry.
Odutola, who is also the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ARM Pension, applauded the level of adoption of the CPS in both public and private sectors, stressing that the growth in number of subscribers to about 10 millions and asset base of over N11 trillion, is an indication of tremendous work being carried out by both the National Pension Commission(PenCom) and pension operators in the country.
Within those years, he said, the scheme has no record of fraud or mismanagement of funds, promising that operators will continue to improve on this feat.
The association, according to him, is committed to expanding the scope of the sector through increased enlightenment campaigns directed at the current and potential contributors; more engagement with various employer groups and other stakeholders as well as ensuring increased investment opportunities, hence, leading to improved investment returns on pension assets for stakeholders.
Odutola said PenOp will continue to work with PenCom and other relevant agencies on enforcement of CPS in the country, adding that, the transfer window has come to improve the service delivery of the industry.
He said the association will continue to partner the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) to increase awareness and to deepen the knowledge of the scheme and uptake by the younger population as well as encourage informal sector’s participation.
According to him, “Our Corporate and Branding Committee has mapped out various plans and activities and we intend to engage our media partners more in the incoming years in driving our objectives and ensuring the fulfillment of our goals aimed at ensuring improved services delivery capacity of our members.”
To ensure ethical compliance, PenOp President said, they will continue to subscribe to the tenets and constitution of the association to encourage healthy competition and good relationships amongst members.
On conflict resolution, he said, the association has put, in place, a system in this regard, noting that “there are provisions for dispute resolution and a system to deal with perceived or confirmed cases of unhealthy competition.”
Delivering her Welcome Address at the virtual media retreat, the Chairman, Brand and Communication Committee, PenOp, Mrs. Amaka Andy-Azike applauded NAIPCO for the support extended to PenOp, over the years, saying, the association values this relationship and will continue to make it cordial in the months and years ahead.
Andy-Azike, who is also the Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Pensions, said, her association was embarking on several awareness campaign, in conjunction with PenCom to promote Micro pension scheme and also enlighten the public on what the Retirement Savings Account Transfer System (RTS) stands for and how they can leverage on the window to switch to the PFAs of their choice.
She appealed to pension journalists to be the watchdog of the industry by writing objectively on the happenings and concerns of the industry, which, she said, would make operators and regulators be alive to their civic responsibilities.