The Welcome Remarks by the Director-General, NATIONAL PENSION COMMISSION (PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar at the JOURNALISTS’ Workshop Organised by the COMMISSION on August 18, 2022 in Lagos.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
I am highly delighted to welcome you to the 2022 Journalists’ Workshop organised by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for Pension Correspondents. The Commission is indeed honoured by your presence despite your hectic schedules.
This workshop provides the Commission with a platform to interact with the media to discuss developments in the pension industry. It is also an opportunity to present the achievements of PenCom and the challenges faced in implementing the Contributory Pension Scheme.
To this end, the Commission hopes to sustain the existing cordial relationship with the media, which would translate to the general public being better informed about the pension industry.
The theme of this year’s workshop, “Increasing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS): The case for Micro Pension Plan”, aligns with the Commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS.
The objective is to bring in to the CPS, Nigerians working in the Informal Sector and those who are Self Employed through the Micro Pension Plan (MPP). Therefore, it is of utmost importance to educate the media on the MPP and enlist your support to make the Plan popular amongst informal sector workers and the self-employed. There are three papers slated for presentation by the Commission today;
The first paper is “The Micro Pension Plan: Bringing Financial Security at Old Age to the Doorsteps of the Informal Sector,” to be delivered by the Head Micro Pension Department. The second paper, “What You Need to Know About the Investment of the Micro Pension Fund (Fund V),” will be presented by the Head of the Investment Supervision Department. The third and final paper, “The Administration of Retirement Benefits under the Micro Pension Plan,” will be delivered by the Head of the Benefits & Insurance Department.
Distinguished Journalists, the Commission is mindful of your critical role in disseminating factual information to its stakeholders. So, it is imperative to constantly interact and inform you of recent developments in the pension industry and some of the Commission’s significant activities.
Strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) remain one of the significant areas of focus of the Commission.
The MPP was conceptualised to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs. The MPP was implemented to curb old-age poverty by assisting the workers, as mentioned above, to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they become old.
To create awareness of the Micro Pension Plan, the Commission, in collaboration with the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, is currently championing an Industry Media Campaign in major cities in the country’s six geo-political zones.
As you know, PenCom increased the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) requirements of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) from N1 billion to N5 billion last year. The recapitalisation exercise had a 12-month transition from April 27 2021, to April 27 2022.
As of the deadline, all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have complied with the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion.
The reason for the recapitalisation exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the Pension Fund Administrators to manage the increasing number of registered contributors, and the value of pension fund assets under which I am pleased to inform you stood at 9,795,957million and N14.27 trillion, respectively, as at June 30, 2022. it is expected that the exercise will bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.
Let me re-affirm the Commission’s commitment to creating awareness and holding social dialogue on the workings of the Contributory Pension Scheme with relevant stakeholders towards the smooth implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria.
I encourage you all to make this workshop as interactive as possible by sharing your concerns and seeking clarifications from our Team where necessary. I wish to assure you that your feedback will be given the due attention required, in line with the Commission’s consultative ethos.
On behalf of the Commission and the entire pension industry, I would like to express our profound appreciation for your consistent support.
Let me reiterate that the media is an important stakeholder, and without your support, the modest achievements recorded by the industry would not have been possible.
Thank you, and God bless us all. Ameen.