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States’ compliance to retirement scheme inconsistent


Only three, FCT make full remittances 
The National Pension Commission (Pencom) has lamented the assessed inconsistency of state governments in complying with the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), which it said, is currently causing hitches in actualising some of the objectives of the scheme.According to the commission, although the Pension Reform Act mandates it to oversee pension matters in all states, there are still constitutional provisions for independence of the states to enact pension laws that suit their peculiarities.
Speaking at the Third Quarter 2018 Consultative Forum for States, organised by the institution, in Lagos, last week, the Acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, who was represented by the Head of State Operations, Dan Ndackson, noted that only three states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have been remitting full contributions.
The PenCom chief said out of the 24 states that have enacted laws to implement the CPS, only eight of them are making remittances, but their level of remittances still vary and far from the goals.“Some of the states are remitting full remittances- the employer and the employee contributions. Some are remitting only employee contributions, while others remit employer and employee, but in an inconsistent manner. That means that this month they may remit both and the next month, they may remit only for employee. 
“This forum is one of the strategies that the commission has adopted in encouraging states to support this scheme. The commission respects that constitutional rights that has been given to states, however we have a law that empowers the commission to oversee pension matters in all states.  “Granted, we have no power to force a state to adopt a particular pension law, but we have been given the power to help guide states, should they want to move from their Defined Benefit Scheme to the CPS.
“The invitation was not only for states that are implementing the CPS, but also for states that are reluctant, perhaps, because they have doubts or are ignorant. When they attend a forum like this, they are able to share ideas with those states that are already implementing the scheme,” she said.She reiterated that the commission hopes to encourage non compliant states through the forum, to adopt the CPS with a faster rate, as they would meet states that are implementing the scheme and would dispell their fears about the scheme, knowing that it is the direction that the world is moving. 
Dahir-Umar noted the commissions’ efforts to seek audiences with State Chief Executives, to explain the benefits of the CPS to them, which made some of them to hook up with the scheme, maintaining that the matter goes beyond state executives to labour unions in all states, as the CPS was designed for workers.
“The workers needs to know the benefits of this scheme and for that reason, we also engage labour unions in all the states to explain the scheme to them. In some cases, it is the state labour union that encourages their state government to adopt the scheme.“In some cases, even when a government have been convinced about the scheme, labour had stood in the way, but we also meet them and address their concerns,” she added. 
But the Head of Service, Lagos State, Folashade Adesoye, commended the management of PenCom for it’s excellent leadership and for the quality it has provided to the administration of pensions in Nigeria.She also called on participants to work towards comprehensive guidelines, aimed at ensuring the full implementation of the contents of the transfer window, guarantee minimum pension and the pension protection fund, which border on the welfare of retirees.

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