Akwa Ibom to re-introduce contributory pension scheme
Akwa Ibom State government has unfolded plans to reintroduce the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), with the view to ensuring sustainable administration of the programme.
The State’s Commissioner for Finance, Akan Okon, who dropped the hint in Uyo recently, while fielding questions from newsmen in his office, stated that the administration has constituted a committee to put in place an efficient structural framework for the smooth implementation of CPS in the state’s public service.
According to him, the pension reform Act 2014 authorises states and local governments to adopt the contributory pension scheme, pointing out that AkwaIbom remains the only state in Nigeria not operating the system.
Okon, who explained that workers’ old retirement scheme has added financial burden on the state, moreso with the current inadequate funding saga currently assailing the states, said the scenario has further spurred the urgent need to adopt the contributory pension scheme.
He maintained that CPS is the way to go, noting that it guarantees better future for pensioners as it not only stems the tide of misappropriation of funds, but also facilitate quick payment of retirement benefits, which has been a major challenge to pensioners, some of whom are compelled to wait for years to get their entitlements.
While stressing the need for workers to embrace the scheme which would avail them enormous benefits ,the commissioner also added that it would, on the other hand, relieve government of outstanding pension liabilities.
Akwa Ibom State government, in 2013, pulled out of the contributory pension scheme which was hitherto implemented in the state public service and opted for the definite pension system. This amounted to paying back to respective workers funds that were so far saved under the scheme.