By Nwafor Sunday
President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, promised that his administration will restore the dignity of retired public servants who have sacrificed for the development and growth of Nigeria.
Disclosing this at the launch of Micro Pension Plan, organized by National Pension Commission at the State House Conference Centre, Mr President said retired public servants deserved better treatment and effective service that meets their needs to carry on after retirement, promising to remove the “rot within the pension system’’.
“The dignity of retired public servants who sacrificed their lives for this country will be restored. We will ensure all hard working Nigerians in the private sector, both formal and informal, can retire without fear,’’ he said.
The President noted that the Federal Government will continue to support the National Pension Commission to ensure a successful roll-out of the Micro Pension Plan, which will capture citizens that are not fully captured in the formal corporate sector.
“In addition to this program, we are also working tirelessly to sanitize some of the rot within the pension system we inherited. I want to assure all Nigerians that this government remains committed to resolving all pending issues on pension payment in the federal public sector despite the lean resources of Government,’’ President Buhari added.
He said trade associations, unions, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in the informal sector should join hands with the government and pensions industry to enlighten their members and general public on the benefits of Micro Pension Plan.
“Today, millions of traders, farmers and other entrepreneurs in various cottage industries are completely excluded from the different pension programs in existence.
“The Micro Pension Plan is the natural next step. The program guarantees that when these hard working citizens retire, they can still live in dignity and comfort,’’ he said.
As part of efforts to diversify the economy and create a more inclusive and enabling environment for all Nigerians, President Buhari said the government has provided grants, concessionary loans and technical support through Small and Medium Enterprises clinics to farmers, traders and SMEs.