Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has revealed that the country’s ten-year accumulated pension assets are now N4.21 Trillion as against the deficit of about N2 trillion (USD 12.9b) in 2004.
The President, who declared open on Monday, the World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, recalled that the Pension Reform Act was enacted by the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in 2004,, to address the recurring challenges experienced in the administration of pension and to enhance efficiency in the system.
“This reform initiative established the Contributory Pension Scheme, for the public and private sectors.
“In ten years of sustained policy innovation and meticulous management, these have facilitated confidence and credibility in our pension system and administration.
The President said that apart from strengthening the pension institutions, the pension Act has enable the government to restructure the system of administration of the defunct Defined Benefits Scheme in the public service.
The government under the Act, according to Jonathan, set-up the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) and appointed its substantive Head, in order to improve the scheme.
“Our goal is to digitize pension payments and streamline payment procedures to ensure prompt and ease of payment of pension benefits.”
President Jonathan announced that he had just signed into law, the new Pension Reform Act 2014, which repealed the 2004 Pension Reform Act.
“The new law seeks to consolidate the gains of reform, address the identified implementation challenges and provide the enabling legal environment to facilitate the creation of quality instruments through which pension assets could be best invested for infrastructure and real estate development.”
The President is confident that these fresh initiatives will assist in consolidating the remarkable achievements recorded by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme, over the last ten years, for the benefit of contributors, and the entire economy.
He expected that PenCom would put in place the necessary regulatory and supervisory framework to facilitate and accelerate the objectives of the reform.
“Most especially, ensuring the safety of pension assets and hence, workers’ security in retirement. I believe that other African countries share similar experiences, and reform zeal, as Nigeria and it is encouraging that a number of African countries have visited Nigeria, to understudy our pension reform and share ideas which we believe can be useful to the entire continent.
“As we commit to share experiences and seek growth, let me conclude by emphasizing that the protection of pension assets for the payment of retirement benefits, as and when due, should always be our paramount objective.
“I am confident that participants will seize the ample opportunity offered by this inaugural World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ to reflect and share experiences on how best to fine-tune African pension systems to globally acceptable standards, while retaining tailored and unique adaptations.”