By Rosemary Onuoha
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has issued compliance certificates to 83 companies which serve as approval to bid for Federal Government contracts this year.
This was against 13,592 issued in 2017.
PenCom noted that the reduction in number is due to the reluctance of federal government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs, to cooperate with it.
PenCom said, “The main reason for the low number of requests being the reluctance of MDAs to ensure that companies bidding for works have fulfilled their obligations relating to pensions as enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007.”
According to PenCom, methods deployed by MDAs to avoid complying include: the exclusion of the pension requirement in the advertisement for contractors and/or acceptance of spurious evidence of compliance from the contractors.
It said that in a bid to address the lapses, it had agreed with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) that only certificates it issued would be the valid evidence of compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007.
Analysis of top five contributors issued compliance certificate show that Setraco (Nigeria) Limited with 2,839 employees made the highest contribution in 2017 with N455 million; Aiico Insurance Plc with 264 employees contributed N135.1 million; North South Power Company Limited with 339 employees contributed N114.7 million; Oriental Energy Resources Limited with 43 employees contributed N41.6 mllion; while Rockbridge Construction Limited with 107 employees contributed N10.2 million.
PenCom noted that with effect from January 2012, private sector employers that complied with the provisions of the PRA 2014 were issued annual Certificates of Compliance, and that to be issued with the certificate, employers are required to submit evidence of remitting contributions to the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) of their employees as well as show evidence of valid group life insurance policy.