From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has certified 353 firms to bid Federal Government contracts for the year.
The affected firms PenCom said had as at March 23, 2018, complied with the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 and were cleared to secure the deal.
Some of the firms include: Reynolds Construction Company Limited, which has 3643 employees and contributed N726.43 million; Leadway Assurance Company Limited, with 283 employees, contributed N133.02 million; Ghazi Shipping and Trading Company Limited, has five employees and contributed N3.13 million; AIICO Insurance Plc, has 264 employees, contributed N135.11 million.
Others are, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, 204 employees, contributed N132.20 million; Linkage Assurance Plc, 231 employees, contributed N65.50 million; NSIA Insurance Limited, 99 employees, contributed N27.95 million; Solid Trust Insurance Brokers Limited with nine staff and contributed N5.03 million; Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers Limited, has nine employees and contributed N2.42 million; Prorisk Insurance Brokers Limited, has 9 staff, contributed N2.42 million and Image Brokers Limited has 16 employees and contributed N1.51 million.
Lasaco Assurance Plc, with 175 employees, contributed N65.63 million; Wib Insurance Brokers Limited, three staff, contributed N855,499.58 and Denos Insurance Brokers Limited, seven staff, contributed N660,240.12; Geo-Chem West Africa Limited, 19 employees, N3.86million; Setraco Nigeria Limited, 2839 employees, N455.05 million; North South Power Company Limited, 331 employees, N114.65 million; Oriental Energy Resources Limited, 43 employees, N41.59 million and others.
PenCom also made an appeal to Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to support the initiative of issuing certificate of compliance to deserving firms, adding that MDAs often times accept spurious evidence of compliance from contractors and being reluctant in ensuring that companies bidding for works fulfilled their obligations relating to pensions as enunciated in the Public Procurement Act 2007.
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.
“All MDAs are required to demand for the Compliance Certificate as a requirement for transacting any business with a private sector organisations. Appropriate circulars have been issued to all MDAs in that regard.
“Also, the Commission monitors advertisements for contract by MDA to ensure that the pre-qualification criteria included evidence of compliance with the PRA 2014. In 2015, 3,620 employers were issued Compliance Certificates.
“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,” it said.
PenCom posited that 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 henceforth, only Certificates it issued would be the valid evidence of compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007.