Okon Bassey in Uyo
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has restated that the micro pension scheme to cater for Nigerians in the informal sector will commence in the first quarter of 2019.
Speaking in Uyo, during the National Pension Commission’s forum for Compliance officers, the Acting Director General of the Commission, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the scheme was aimed at widening the coverage area of the contributory pension scheme.
Dahir-Umar, who was represented by the Head, Surveillance Department of the PenCom, Mr. Datti Mohammed Yola, said everything about the scheme has been finalised awaiting implementation by the operators.
She said the forum would address the issue of identity theft which is a threat in the industry, so as to guard against it, adding that participants at the forum were drawn from the 31 licenced pension operators, 21 pension fund administrators, 6 CPFAs and 4 PFCs.
In an effort to promote a stable and sustainable pension industry, she said the commission has adopted zero tolerance for non-compliance.
According to her, consultative supervision has also been adopted in the review of existing guidelines and in the issuing of new ones to encourage sound corporate governance, and protect pension assets in the industry.
Dahir-Umar, further said the commission has aligned its supervisory framework with that of the Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee to supervise the activities of pension operators.
She maintained that the compliance officers have the responsibility to monitor and report cases of non-compliance with regards to the implementation of the guidelines for the micro pension scheme.
“The commission recently released the framework and guidelines for the implementation of the micro pension scheme, which is targeted at increased participation of employees in the informal sector, multi-fund structure and revised guideline for fund accounting as well as revised circular for branch opening and service centre by PFAs.
The micro pension scheme has already taken off, everything has been finalised by the issuance of the guidelines, so it is now left to the operators to go back and implement it.
“The micro pension scheme is aimed at widening the coverage of the contributory pension scheme and ensure that those in the informal sector are also covered by the contributory pension scheme like tailors, hair dressers, barbers and petty traders so that at the end of their useful life, they would have something to fall back on as pension.
“This forum will therefore focus on reviewing compliance and ethical culture, institutionalization of Know Your Customer (KYC) processes in the industry, matters of identity theft in data capturing; emerging risks and its mitigating factors as well as other general industry operational issues.
“It is my expectation that this forum will further enhance the capacity of each Compliance Officer towards the effective discharge of functions,” she posited.
The acting DG assured participants at the forum that the Commission would continue with its consultative philosophy, transparency and good corporate governance in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in the country.”