From Ngozi Onyeakus, Lagos
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that about 28,000 participants from the informal sector have been enrolled into the micro pension scheme, since its inception,
This was disclosed by the Head, Corporate Communications, PenCom Peter Aghahowa, at the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria ( PenOp), annual Media Seminar held today in Lagos.
According to him, 19 Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have registered 28,000 micro pension participants as at October, 2019.
Giving the breakdown, Aghahowa said up till June 2019, 21,430 participants were registered, in July 2019, 221 participants were registered, in August 2019, 1,299 Nigerians were registered, in September 2019, 2737 participants were registered and in October 2019, 2313 participants were registered.
Aghahowa also assured that the pension industry was targeting 30 per cent of nations working population which represents 40 million participants into the scheme by 2020.
He noted that the Micro pension guideline was designed in such a simple and flexible manner so as to accommodate more participants. He equally opined that Micro pension recorded fast growth though was marred by registration challenges.
He called on the media to step up awareness through their reportage.
Speaking further, Aghahowa stated that registration has however been challenged due to low financial literacy, because a lot of Nigerians at the low income level still do not understand the benefits of pension and as such often mistake the scheme as scam.
Other challenges highlighted by the head of communication, are low National Identity Number (NIN), which is one of the criteria for registration; low awareness about the scheme and inadequate technology platform to support the registration process.
Tackling these challenges, the commission has embarked on a campaign across the traditional, social and digital media, engaging with union, associations, professional bodies and Non Governmental Organizations, says Aghahowa.
“Though NIN has slowed down the process of micro pension registration, PenCom has however collaborated with the DescriptionNational Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure that participants get their numbers on time to fast track registration.
“The commission is working on having its own USSD code to ease payment of pension contribution for enrollees,” he added.