By Rosemary Onuoha
There is need for state governments to implement the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, in their various states to enable the workers have a good retirement life.
According to the Head, Research & Corporate Strategy Department, of the National Pension Commission, PenCom, Mr. Umaru Farouk Aminu, the Pension Reform Act, 2014 mandates states and local governments to implement the CPS.
Aminu noted that 26 states have enacted the pension reform law while only seven states have commenced full implementation.
Also, Managing Director of Premium Pension Limited, Mr. Wilson Ideva, said that there is need for state and local governments to implement the CPS and put an end to the trend where only the governors are assured of pension benefits when they leave office.
Ideva said, “Many of these state governors are well made after they leave office, while workers in their states are left to wallow in penury, which is tantamount to man’s inhumanity to man.
According to Ideva, the action or inaction of state governments that have not yet signed the CPS into Law is inhibiting the domestication of the scheme in the states, while companies, local or foreign and even multinationals that have failed to adopt the scheme are endangering the future of the mostly Nigerian staff.
On the challenges facing the CPS in Nigeria, Ideva said that lack of adequate public awareness is a major challenge confronting the scheme.
He said, “This lack of awareness is even noticeable among the supposedly enlightened in the society. This situation is an offshoot of the initial skepticism that greeted the pension reform in 2004. The old scheme had virtually collapsed; accumulating a deficit of more than two trillion Naira and cases of corruption were rampant. The word ‘Pension’ as a consequence acquired a pejorative connotation.
“It is against this backdrop that pension operators are now saddled with the responsibility of clearing this cobweb of ignorance about the workings of the new scheme.
Premium Pension Limited has been consistent in the call for increased public awareness on the scheme. The new pension scheme has gone through the teething stages and has come to stay. It is working but there is still enormous work to be done to address some observed challenges and ensure that all intended objectives are achieved.
“As it stands today, the CPS is arguably the most conspicuous and indelible legacy of the Federal Government in the past decade. This is largely because of the positive impact it has had on retirees since the scheme became fully operational,” Ideva said.