Sigma Pensions and the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers (NANPF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to offer local and international professional footballers a safety net in their retirement.
The customised scheme is expected to commence from the 2020/2021 Football season. It was signed by the President and the General Secretary of NANPF on behalf of the union with the management of Sigma Pensions, in Abuja recently.
In a statement, Sigma Pensions said the partnership was borne out of the need to enhance pension coverage across the working population, stating that football has become a major source of employmet for youths that have over the years not been catered for.
On what prompted the partnership, the statement said: “Amongst Sigma Pensions mandate as a Pension Fund Administrator is to assist employed workers plan for their retirement so that they can have financial security in their post service years. In line with that, Sigma Pensions felt the need to collaborate with this important sector that employs a large portion of our youth to provide them a retirement plan, so that they can also benefit from this laudable government programme of financial ssecurity just like employees in other sectors of the economy.”
The MoU is slated to cover local professional footballers playing in the domestic leagues as well as international footballers abroad in foreign leagues.
“This plan is for all professional footballers, be they local or foreign-based. As you may be aware, the Cross-Border Arrangement Guideline of the National Pension Commission has made provision for people living outside Nigeria to have retirement plans at home.
“Nigerian professional footballers have never enjoyed any type of social security structure for their post service years such that after their football careers, some fall into penury and cannot afford basics of life let alone healthcare insurance at old age.
This arrangement is an opportunity for them to have a retirement plan such that after their active years, they would have a steady source of income that will guarantee them financial security in their old age”, the statement added.
Sigma Pensions also added that the initiative was inclusive of both male and female footballers and would cover all players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Nigeria National League (NNL), and Nigeria Women Football League (NWPFL) as well as international players.