The Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, has been slated as the keynote speaker at this year’s edition of the Annual National Lecture Series of the Catholic Brothers United (CBU), scheduled to hold in Lagos.
The year’s edition of the lecture, with the theme,” the Use of Pension Funds As a Catalyst for Economic Diversification” is the 17th in the series.
According to the spokesman of the group, Mr. Chika Izuora, the theme is considered apt as Nigeria currently grapples with the challenges of acute infrastructure deficit needed to propel economic growth.
He said the lecture aims at providing a national discourse on how the country can leverage on funds like the Pension Funds to accelerate economic development and growth.
In her acceptance letter for the lecture scheduled for June 26th, 2016, at the Mc Govern Hall of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, the PenCom DG said: “It is noteworthy that the CBU has sustained the practice of community development activities that have been uplifting the Church and the entire community.
She said the event is one of such programmes that is worthy of commendation, adding the proposed topic of the lecture: The Use Of Pensions Funds as a Catalyst for Economic Diversification’, harmonises with the PenCom’s renewed efforts at ensuring pensions funds are channelled towards economic development through viable and safe investments.
Also speaking, president of CBU, Emmanuel Uwukhor said financing infrastructure projects using pensions funds has been a major topical issue that has generated much controversies given people’s experience with the previous pension scheme.
He said it has become imperative to use the CBU platform to further clarify issues around such discussion as huge population of the Catholic community are subscribers to the Contributory Pensions Scheme (CPS) while others in the informal sector are itching to join the scheme.
“What we want to achieve is to sensitise the teeming Catholic faith and also the general public on the need to understand the benefits of the CPS and how the initiative will lead to fruitful retirement.We know the family value system is collapsing and the average Nigerian is facing challenges, therefore early savings using this channel would provide them some relief at old age.
He said the commission owes the society the responsibility as enshrined in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to educate them on government policies that aims to better their lot”.
He also said he is aware that the PenCom is leading a nationwide enlightenment which is robustly supported by Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) in a new initiative to launch all Nigerians into the Pension Scheme via the Micro Pension Scheme.
Uwukhor noted that with the new initiative, individuals would now have the rare opportunity to become pensioners that was exclusive of public officers and lately informal sector.
Uwukhor expressed joy that PenCom has articulated the plan to attract 20 million Nigerians into the scheme by 2019 and 30 million by the year 2024, adding that such programmes as enunciated by CBU will go a long way to help realise the objective . He commended the PenCom for developing the initiative which is designed to have inclusive and expanded coverage.