Only five states among those that have commenced the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme have retirees earning pensions under the scheme.

The Head, States Operations Department, National Pension Commission, Mr Babatunde Philips, disclosed.

In his report on the topic, ‘Status and level of compliance with the Contributory Pension Scheme’, he said 25 states had so far enacted laws to implement the CPS under the Pension Reform Act.

“States with payment of pensions under the CPS are Lagos, Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna, Delta and Osun,” he said.

Nine states and the Federal Capital Territory, Philips added, had commenced the implementation and remittance by both employers and employees into the Retirement Savings Accounts.

He said that four states had enacted laws under the Defined Benefits Schemes, while one maintained the DBS.

Philips recalled that in 2006, the National Council of States unanimously adopted the CPS for state and local governments at a meeting.

According to him, the lack of political will by some state governors to fully implement the CPS is a challenge militating against the execution of the scheme.

Philips noted that the success of the scheme would largely depend on the state executives.

Resistance of the scheme by state officials and labour unions due to poor understanding, he observed, had delayed the adoption of the scheme by some states.

PenCom disclosed that about 8.85 million Nigerian workers had been registered under the Contributory Pension Scheme.

The acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, said, “As of September 2019, the number of registered contributors under the CPS had grown to 8.85 million while pension fund assets had grown to N9.58tn.

“This growth indeed justifies our emphasis on the safety of pension funds as the bedrock of sustaining the CPS. We assure all stakeholders that the pension reform remains steadily on course.”

Dahir-Umar said the commission’s current strategic focus aimed to expand access to pension via the CPS, as a veritable tool for economic development.


By Nike Popoola,
The Punch

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