Stakeholders target N8trn pension fund on IST anniversary
Baring any hitch, the newly appointed heads of the Nigerian Pension Commission (PenCom) will assume office, going by a recent directive from the presidency.
This was coming as stakeholders have opined that the newly appointed heads of the most capitalized indigenous investors in Nigeria, would market their one year anniversary in Pencom with N8 trillion capitalizations with total contributors peaking at 10 million.
There have been mixed expectations in the industry, as current development between the National Assembly and the Presidency continues to raise concern on the resumption of newly appointed Chairman, Director General of Pencom and other directors.
The concern was heightened as the Acting president, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo recently directed for immediate resumption of the newly appointed heads in acting capacity, pending appointment by the senate.
The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, weekend directed that the newly appointed heads of the National Pension Commission, (PenCom) and other bodies must assume duty.
However, concerns have continued to mount over the state of the appointments and commitment of the national assembly to give their assent to the appointments, going by controversy surrounding confirmation of the acting
Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Magu.
It has remained unclear, if the Senate would consider clearing the nominees, having earlier asserted that it would not clear further nominees presented by the executive until the controversy over Magu as the head of anti-corruption body, EFCC, is determined.
The lawmakers want Magu removed, having refused to confirm his appointment twice, but the presidency insists he would continue in office.
On the resumption of the newly appointed Pencom heads, the Permanent Secretary and Director Press Office of the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Bolaji Adebiyi, who also extended the same directive to newly appointed heads of the Code of Conduct Bureau, (CCB) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said that all the appointees were directed to assume duties in acting capacities pending their confirmation by the Senate.
Adebiyi said that the directive for them to assume duties was to ensure that there was no vacuum in certain important federal institutions.
PenCom’s new appointees are, Ali Ahmed appointed as Acting Chairman, Mr. Funso Doherty, appointed as Acting Director-General, and Manasseh Denga as Acting Executive Commissioner.
Others are, Abubakar Magawata, Nyerere Anyim and Ben Oviosun, respectively appointed Acting Executive Commissioners,
Meanwhile, the newly appointed officers are taking office, shortly after the nation’s pension funds, under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), was reported to have grown to N6.5 trillion as at the end of July, 2017. Also, the number of pension contributors has also risen remarkably to 7. 6 million
Pension funds was reported to have risen to N6.5tr as at the end of July 2017, from N6.4tr it stood at as at April ending.
Stakeholders who spoke to Daily Times on the expected year on year growth of pension fund to N8 tr by the end of August 2018 ,said that going by the growth trend of the fund, it is likely to hit the projection by the one year anniversary in office of the new heads.
It was also gathered that between April and June this year, there were 97,713 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders registered under the new pension scheme, with 77,023 contributors from the private sector.
According to the data, 9,148 workers from the Federal Government registered under the CPS, while state governments recorded 11,542 contributors, building the numerical strength of contributors to 7.6m.
In the same vein, report has it that between April and June, 2017, the pension fund gained about N7.5 billion, as private sector added N4.1b to the pension pool, with states contributing N1.5b, while the Federal Government added N1.8b to the pension funds.
Executive director, Crusader Sterling Pension, Mr. Conrad Ifode, said recently that the investment income from pension assets was regarded as a key factor that keeps the fund growing at an acceptable rate, just as the pension assets now has about N2.3 trillion as income from investment of the assets, adding that the security of the fund is also a crucial factor.
The Director, Centre for Pension Right Advocacy, Mr. Ivor Takor, said most of the PFAs were making money from investment of the pension funds; and that some of the profits also goes back into the fund, which increases its volume.
…as PenCom condemn bill excluding police, others from contributory pension
The Nigerian Pension Commission has sustained its advocacy of comprehensive pension scheme (CPS) in Nigeria with THE recent knock on bill that excludes the police and other paramilitary organizations from participating in the scheme.
The Acting Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, recently in Abeokuta, Ogun state, at the Annual Retreat of the pension operators (PenOp) comprising 21 Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) and four Pension Custodians, said that excluding the paramilitary organizations from the national pension scheme would certainly be of disservice to the personnel of the agencies including officers and men.
The bill seeking to amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014 to exclude members of the Nigeria Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigeria Customs Service (NSCDC) from the Contributory Pension Scheme on May 16 passed the seconding reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill, sponsored by Mr. Oluwole Oke, is also seeking to exempt the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from the scheme.
“The bill has dire consequences not only on the pension reform, but on the other reforms of governments,” said the acting DG
The Pencom boss, represented at the event by Mr. Aminu Farouk, the Head of Research and Management in the commission, said exemption of the paramilitary would have a retrogressive effect and impact negatively on the country’s economy.
She said the Federal Government was already overburdened with the payment of pensions as reflected in the 2016 Appropriation Act.
According to her, about N200b was appropriated in the Act as pensions and gratuities which is still insufficient to fund pension liabilities of government.