63m Nigerian workers yet to enroll with PenCom- OPS

By Alex Enebeli

Some members of the Organized Private Sector (OPS) have revealed that only 10 million out of the 73 million Nigerian workers have enrolled in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

They made the disclosure at the interactive session on the Contributory Pension Scheme for the OPS organized by the National Pension Commission in collaboration with the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) on Friday in Enugu.

The Enugu State Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Personnel, Dr Onyeka Okoh expressed dismay that 63 million workers in the country had yet to enroll in the CPS describing it as unfortunate.

According to Okoh, whereas the federal workers and the multinational companies in Nigeria are complying with the Pension Scheme Act of 2014, many others especially the informal sector were yet to comply.

Okoh attributed the low enrollment to corruption and lack of strong will on the part of regulatory bodies adding that if Nigeria must get it right, corruption must be “killed”.

He noted that the multinationals were able to comply because of the way they were structured to function well while their counterparts in Nigeria hardly complied with the PenCom scheme.

Also contributing, the South East Chairman of the National Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Ugo Chime, while appraising the importance of PenCom, said that retirement before the scheme was a nightmare for workers.

“Before, life after retirement could be described as uncertain and unpredictable. However, with the Pension Reform Act 2014, the narrative has changed significantly.

“Primarily, because no matter the efforts put into a system or process, there will always be a room for improvement. Thus, following the enactment of the Act and successive PenCom leadership, we have had series of improvements and innovation in the pension scheme administration,” Chime said.

In his remarks, the Enugu State Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, Mr Chika Ugwuoke, said the state government under the leadership of Mr Peter Mbah, would do its best to encourage workers to participate in the CPS.

The commissioner said that the governor had placed workers and pensioners welfare a priority and would do everything possible to improve their welfare.

In a message to the interactive session, the Director General of PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, applauded NECA for offering its platform for continuous social dialogue with members of the OPS on the implementation of the contributory pension scheme in the country.

Dahir-Umar represented by the Head, Compliant and Enforcement of the commission, Mr Bala Babangida, said the dialogue had generated an invaluable impact on the implementation of the scheme over the years.

The event was attended by the state Chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrades Ben Asogwa and Fabian Nwaigbo as well as representatives of the civil society. (NAN)