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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) says the total number of registered contributors and the value of pension fund assets stand at 9,795,957 million and N14.27 trillion respectively, as at June 2022.

The Director -General, PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar gave the figure at a  workshop organised by the commission for journalists covering the pension industry on Thursday in Lagos.

The theme of the workshop was, “Increasing Informal Sector Participation In The Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) :The case for Micro Pension Plan (MPP).”

Dahir-Umar, represented by the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Abdulqadir Dahiru said increasing number of pension contributors and fund was responsible for the recapitalisation of the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA’s) by PenCom.

“The reason for the recapitalisation exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the PFA’s to manage the increasing number of registered contributors and the value of pension fund assets which stood at 9,795,957 million and N14.27 trillion respectively, as at June 30,2022.

“PenCom increased the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) requirements of PFAs from N1 billion to N5 billion in 2021.

“All PFAs have complied with the commission’s directive to increase their minimum capital during the exercise which had a 12-month transition between April, 27 2021 to April, 27 2022,” she said.

According to her, the theme of the workshop aligned with the commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS as it relates to the micro pension plan.

The director-general explained that the objective was to bring into the CPS, Nigerians working in the informal sector and those who were self employed through the MPP.

Dahir-Umar noted that strategic efforts to drive the MPP remained one of the significant areas of focus of the commission.

She said the MPP was conceptualised to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans and entrepreneurs.

“The MPP was implemented to curb old-age poverty by assisting the workers, as mentioned above, to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they become old, ” Dahir-Umar said.

The director-general stated that to create awareness of the MPP, the commission, in collaboration with the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, was currently championing an industry media campaign in major cities in the country’s six geopolitical zones.

Dahir-Umar said it was expected that the exercise would bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.

“Let me re-affirm the commission’s commitment to creating awareness and holding social dialogue on the workings of the CPS with relevant stakeholders towards the smooth implementation of the scheme in Nigeria,” she said.

In his presentation, Mr Dauda Ahmed, Head, Micro Pension Department of PenCom, said that the informal sector constituted a large and persistent scale in any economy, especially in Africa.

Ahmed stated that over 80 per cent of the working population fell under the informal sector; hence the need to provide a social net such as the MPP to provide better future and retirement plan for them.

He listed the benefits of the MPP to include improved standard of living for the elderly,  regular stream of benefits at old age, secures financial autonomy, access to other incentives and independence of retirees among others.

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