Ebere Nwoji

The Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), after 12 years of experimentation in Nigeria, is still battling with tripple problems of acceptability, transition and how to harness the opportunities in the informal sector and the economy in general.

Pension industry expert and Managing Director IEI- Anchor Pension Managers Limited, Glory Etaduovie, who made this remark at the annual general meeting of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO), held in Lagos, said

the scheme up till date, still has acceptability problem because some persons who are familiar with the old scheme and its workings are yet to come to terms with the CPS.
“Such ones, if in good position stand in the way of implementation of the CPS”, he observed.
He said the transition challenge was from states because of the old scheme and backlogs.

“In other instances, the bureaucracy of domesticating the PRA in the states and poor business environment is also affecting private sector adoption and implementation. Some who do, do not remit the staff deductions nor theirs as well. This is immoral and they risk penalty from the regulatory body”, Etaduovie stated.

He however said the above challenges and others are constantly being reviewed by the industry, as he noted that the Director General of the National Pension Commission ( PenCom) and her team are keeping close eyes on details, as the industry matures.
Speaking on his company IEI Anchor Pensions, which stands as one of the fast growing pension managers in Nigeria, Etaduovie said the company’s asset under management now stands at about N55 billion.

He explained that this was made possible through the effort of the company’s management and staff team that are zealous to work.
On the company’s growth plans, Etaduovie said, “Investment wise, the regulator plays a key role. We have major investment guidelines. This ensures relative fund safety. This is the future of many people. So, there is no room for un-necessary adventure”.

He said the current investment market presents good opportunities and initiatives for managers adding that it is made up of a good blend of Bonds, Treasury Bills, Money market and other safe investments. He added that Private Equity and Infrastructure development are new areas of gradual action for the sector.

The IEI- Anchor Pension boss, said his company, which currently has over 90,000 retirees in its account also plans to increase the number of Retiree’s Saving Accounts (RSAs) in the nearest future explaining that this can be done through the use of effective delineation, deployment of marketing philosophy, drilling down marketing tools to promote presence and efficiency, good staff motivation and a sense of security.

“We have good presence in many states. The market presently has two major strata – private and public sectors. The public sector includes the states and federal. Not many states have keyed into the Contributory Pension scheme, though we are also positioning ourselves in areas with strong potentials, our RSA client size is over ninety thousand contributors,” he added.

In terms of competition with bigger Pension fund administrators,(PFAs), the IEI- Anchor Pension boss said there is no time competition even among equals has been a child’s play.
He said this has led his company to deeper soul searching.
“One thing stands out; the customer remains the ultimate and determinant of direction. Our size makes us smartly responsive. This is one advantage we wield. Everyone gets deserved attention. This we pursue to achieve through training and retraining of staff.”