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Nigeria’s pension fund hits over N12trn

By News Desk

The National Pension Commision (PenCom) has disclosed that the country’s pension fund assets had risen to N12.66 trillion as at June 30, with contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) hitting the 9.38 million mark.

The commission explained that the consistent growth trajectory justified the commission’s overriding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.

The Director General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, also stated that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a review of business processes across various organisations, which made it imperative for the commision to deepen technology innovation.

Speaking during the 2021 Journalists Workshop held yesterday in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Positioning the Pension Industry in the Post COVID-19 Era’, Dahir-Umar, who represented by the commission’s Head, Corporate Communication, Peter Aghahowa, assured pension stakeholders that the implementation of the CPS remained on course.

According to her, COVID-19 has engendered socio-economic disruptions of the entire global order, with multifarious challenges in conducting hitherto routine activities.

“It was, therefore, imperative for the commission to deepen technological innovation to navigate through the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

“The most recent technological innovation introduced by the commission is the in-house designed and developed online enrolment application.

“The application has capabilities to register, verify and enroll prospective retirees of Treasury-Funded Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” she said.

According to her, by the deployment of this new application, mass gathering of people has been avoided while enhancing convenience for the prospective retirees through a seamless enrolment process.

The DG mentioned that another notable technological innovation by the commission was the design and deployment of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS), which was launched in November 2020, adding that public enlightenment and education was one of the five strategic focus areas currently pursued by the commission.

“This is considered germane considering that 17 years after the pension reform in Nigeria, there still exists a knowledge gap on the CPS. Consequently, the commission is committed to reinvigorating its public enlightenment and education drive in order to address this challenge,” she said.

According to her, other strategic focus areas of PenCom include the resolution of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government; portfolio diversification of pension fund investments.

Dahir-Umar, also mentioned improvement in customer service delivery across the pension industry and unrelenting pursuit of sustainable growth of the pension industry by expanding the coverage of the CPS.

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