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The National Pension Commission has revealed that contrary to insinuations that the growth of pension fund was driven by more workers entering the basket, on 7.24 million workers, representing 7.7 per cent of Nigerian workers, contributing to the Compulsory Pension Scheme as of September 2016.
The implication of the figure is that about 92.3 per cent of workers in the country have no form of pension savings to cater for them when they retire from paid employment.
Further investigations showed that whereas only government workers remittances are apparently regular, those of private sector employees are deducted but not routinely remitted, a development that has incessantly pitched workers against their employees over the years.
In a recent report, PenCom said, “The number of registered contributors under the formal Contributory Pension Scheme was 7.24 million as of September, 2016. This represents about 7.7 per cent of total labour force in Nigeria and represents above four per cent of the total population.”
Explaining more on the not so good development, the Head, Micro Pensions Department, PenCom, Polycarp Anyanwu, said the informal sector was largely uncovered by any structured pension and represented over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s total working population.
Some of the peculiarities of those within the informal sector are irregular flow of income; highly mobile and flexible jobs; lack of permanent work addresses; and lack of official means of identification and other documents.
He decried however that as at the time of the enactment of the Pension Reform Act 2014, the informal sector was erroneously excluded from the pension system prior.
He said PRA 2014 established legal framework for micro pensions relying on “Section 2(3) of the PRA 2014 extended the coverage of the CPS to self-employed persons,” he said.
To him, micro pension initiative was meant for the provision of pension coverage to self-employed persons and covered three stratums, which were the low income earners, middle-income earners and high-income earners.
“Our target is the self-employed in various trades and professions in Nigeria – artisans, accountants, lawyers, mechanics, tailors, market men/women, hairdressers, architects, engineers, etc”.