From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that out the 25 states in Nigeria which have enacted laws on the Contributory Pension Scheme, (CPS) only nine have begun it’s implementation and remitting both employer and employee pension Contributions.
Out of the nine states, the commission said, five have a funding for accrued rights.
Presenting a paper at the 2019 PenCom workshop for journalists held Thursday in Benin, the Edo State capital, the Head of States operations Department, (PenCom), Babatunde Phillips, said Kaduna, the Federal Capital Territory, Osun, Delta, Anambra and Lagos are funding acrrued rights while Edo, Ondo and Ekiti states are only implementing and remitting.
Speaking further, he said that out of the 25 states which have existing CPS laws, 13 of them had instituted pension bureaux or boards.
According to him, that five states have employees retiring under te CPS and drawing pensions, adding that four states have enacted laws on the the DBS while one mantaien the DBS.
Meanwhile, he said seven states, Kwara, Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Plateau and Katsina were still at the bill stage while Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Gombe and Zamfara are operating other pension schemes.
Phillips noted that the right of states to enact their own pension laws have been a clog in the wheel of progress of the CPS stating that “some states delay in enactment of their laws and/or enact other laws at variance to the PRA 2014 and CPS principles.”
He also cited the lack of political will by state governors as well as inadequate funding as hindrances to the implementation of the CPS in states.
Earlier, in her opening remark, the Acting Director General, PenCom, Aisha Dahiru-Umaru disclosed that pension funds has grown to N9.58 trillion as at September, 2019.
She stated that the number of registered contributors under the scheme has equally risen to 8.85 million within the period.
The growth, according to her justified the commissions emphasis on the safety of pension funds as the bedrock of sustaining the CPS and assure all stakeholders that the pension reform remained steadily on course.
Represented by the Head, Micro Pension, PenCom, Kunle Odebiyi, she further pointed out that the modest milestones notwithstanding, the Commission and Pension Operators were committed to actualizing the growth potentials of the pension industry.
She commended the media for a huge turn out to the workshop.
“This clearly underscores your commitment to gain and consolidate requisite knowledge of the pension industry thereby promoting a professional reportage of activities relating to pensions in Nigeria. I am particularly pleased to note that the Commission and the media have collaborated effectively over the years to advance public awareness on the tenets of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS)”, she said.