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Pension scheme generated N5.8trn assets, says Oyo-Ita



The Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, said on Tuesday that Nigeria’s Contributory Pension Scheme had generated over N5.8 trillion assets as at 30th June 2016.

The HoS was speaking spoke at the World Pension Summit in Abuja with the theme; “Pension Innovations: The African Perspective.”

Oyo-Ita said the summit would enable countries and stakeholders to brainstorm on how to tackle their economic challenges.

She said, “Nigeria in 2004 established contributory pension scheme due to its advantages such as sustainability as a system with framework that would eliminate incentives for corruption.

“Also, It is noteworthy that within 12 years of implementing contributory pension scheme in the country, it has to large extent, stabilised our pension administration system.

“For instance before the reform, Nigeria has huge pension liabilities in trillions of naira but now the contributory pension scheme has generated over N5.8 trillion assets as at 30th June 2016.”

Oyo-Ita said that the assets had been invested in the various sectors of the nation’s economy.

She explained that globally, pension matters occupied a strategic place not only as a vital component of social security but also as a vehicle for nation-building.

The HoS added that African countries had given considerable attention to pensions due to myriads of challenges encountered in the administration of pensions.

Oyo-Ita said the Federal Government had extended the pension scheme to states and local governments in line with Pension Reform Act of 2014, adding that many states had adopted the scheme.

She stressed that states and local governments presently, were on various stages of implementing its pension schemes.

She called on the National Pension Commission to extend its net to people in informal sector.

Oyo-Ita also directed PENCOM to step up its enforcement drive to public and private sector institutions to ensure full compliance and in line with the enabling law.

She said the current administration will make funds available to address some issues of liabilities in the pension scheme.

Earlier, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the founder of contributing pension scheme in Nigeria, advised many countries to reform their pension scheme.

Obasanjo called on the countries in Africa to emulate Singapore which had effective and efficient pension system that enabled it to build houses for its pensioners through their pension scheme.

He advised the Federal Government to extend its pension scheme to states, local governments and private sector, to ensure a wider coverage of the scheme.

Obasanjo urged the participants at the summit to strengthen pension laws so that fraudulent people would not find it easy to embezzle the fund.

Eric Eggink, Founder, World Pension Summit, said due to innovation of Android phones, many people could now invest on pension scheme anywhere they used their mobile phones.

Eggink called on workers, both in private and public sectors, to register for the pension scheme, to save for the rainy day.

Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Director-General of PENCOM, said after a long period of faltering economic performance, there had been resurgent growth over the last decade in African countries’ GDP.

She listed African unique entrepreneurial/innovative spirit, emerging from its industries, smaller innovative initiatives such as the portable irrigation technology as some of the factors that led to the growth of African economies.

She explained that Africa’s infrastructure by far remained the most deficient sector hampering the continent’s development.

The summit was attended by important dignitaries including Gov. Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna State; former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke; NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and President of TUC, Kaigama Bala(NAN)