Pension experts urge inclusion of informal sector
The Director, Centre for Pension Right Advocacy, Takor Ivor, has called for the inclusion of micro-pension in the ecosystem. He charged the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and operators to embark on sensitisation to drive the process.
Speaking with The Guardian at the weekend, Ivor said workers would not come to pension operators willingly unless they are engaged, saying the micro-pension plan was evolved to unlock the informal sector and that the objective could only be achieved through regular engagements.
In a paper delivered recently at the third yearly Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) and National Assembly retreat held in Lagos, the Former Director-General, PenCom, Muhammed Ahmad, also stressed that pension and insurance segments of the economy were yet to gain more attention.
Ahmad then implored pension operators to assist informal sector workers in planning their future by bringing them into the micro-pension plan.
Speaking also on the same issue, the President, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Wale Odutola, said the growth of any industry can only be guaranteed by constant dialogue and communication among the key stakeholders, adding that over the years, PenCom and the operators have built a strong stakeholder engagement framework, which has significantly assisted in the growth and development of the industry.
He submitted that PenCom and PenOp have also developed a strong relationship with the National Assembly whom they recognise as key partners in the industry.
“In the last 17 years, Nigeria’s pension industry has certainly come a long way from when the pension reform act was initially passed in 2004.
“The industry has moved from a largely unfunded pension system to one that is fully funded, professionally managed, and mainly private sector driven.
We can all agree that the Contributory Pension Scheme practised in Nigeria, which has adopted international best practices, is technologically driven and has grown steadily over the period.
“There is also marked progress concerning the level of professionalism within the industry. The pension industry has raised the bar for professionals locally.
“The investment, risk, and compliance professionals within the industry can favourably compare to their counterparts anywhere in the world. Indeed, the industry has bred a new class of pension professionals across the board over the years,” he said.
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